Hosts: Erik Stayton and Melissa Cefkin
June 11, 2019
What does it mean to develop autonomous vehicle systems that are socially acceptable and human (better yet, humanITY) centered? In this presentation, we will discuss some of the facets of research needed to make progress towards these goals. Following from an introduction to numerous issues that could emerge by having self-driving vehicles on the road, and how the design of human-machine interfaces (both tangible and intangible) will play a vital role in developing acceptable systems, we will focus in on one particular area of examination – how a commercial vehicle system operates (in this case, a city transit system) and what could happen if drivers are removed from vehicle operation in the future. Based on an ethnographic look at a bus system’s operations, we argue that a systematic orientation to “care” is central to making a transit system work. We examine how participants in the system understand and navigate their work, focusing on how care work and information work interleave, and how the notion of care work extends toward the care of non-human actors as well as that of people. We use this to consider how we, as system developers and design researchers, can use these practices to design “systems of care.” We are especially interested in the roles of automation and the risks automation presents for care.