Do you wish your car was more like your dog?

I grew up in Los Angeles and I am no stranger to the idea of ​​an emotional relationship with my car. However, the idea that this relationship can be modeled on our relationships with our dogs is certainly a new idea.

The designers of “smart” cars are trying to improve the car users’ experience. It is believed that this increases driving fun and engagement, as well as more safety and efficiency. Recent research has focused on achieving these goals by improving the emotional interaction of users with the cars. What does this have to do with dogs?

Smart car designers want to help drivers feel connected to their cars. Therefore, they naturally seek inspiration in relationships with strong emotional connections, and that means they have dogs. The interaction between people and their cars can be more positive, which can alleviate the frustration, anger, and risky behavior of increasingly complex cars and lead to dangerous driving. Is it really possible to mimic human-pet interactions in order to “create emotional experiences that are lovable, enjoyable and relaxing”? Many designers believe it.

In a recent study, titled Using Dog and Canine Behavioral Traits to Enhance the Emotional Experience of Car Interaction, researchers identified which dog behavioral traits cause affection in humans. Her next step was figuring out how to incorporate these dog behaviors into smart car design to enhance people’s emotional experiences with the car.

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Let me be among the first to suggest that there is no way a car can replace a dog in our affection. Even so, I can work with the idea that doing something more like a dog in life could be an improvement.

The article states, “The petmorphic approach to design defines design attributes based on intelligent devices that mimic dog behavior.” The authors note that studies have not yet thoroughly explored which pet attributes are most effective or effective in creating meaningful emotional interaction how such features can be incorporated into the design of intelligent cars.

To explore the relationship between humans and their dogs, participants were asked to prepare photos (before interviews) of their dogs at memorable moments and display behaviors that people liked. They were asked to tell stories about situations in which they had good emotional interactions with their dogs. They have been asked a lot about their understanding of their pets, with questions like “How do you know your dog is unhappy?” and “Do you think your dog can read your mind?” They were asked to imagine that their dog’s soul was in the car and the dog’s reactions to various driving-related situations.

Respondents expressed positive feelings about many aspects of their relationship with their dogs. People in this study shared that they liked when dogs shared their own thoughts and preferences. Another popular action by dogs got excited – maybe to go for a walk or sniff around the park. Most owners valued their dog’s empathy and liked it when dogs reacted to household moods or acted thoughtfully.

Humans responded particularly well to their dogs’ loyalty, which included a variety of actions including following and consistently seeking to be in their presence. Recognition from their owners was also placed in this category, as were dogs that responded to them. Owners reported feeling close to their dogs when their dogs sought affection by approaching or cuddling with them and when they showed their dependence on care and feeding.

The interviews prompted designers to consider a variety of dog actions that could be imitated by cars in some form. This includes suggesting opinions or information, sympathizing with the driver’s feelings, showing loyalty to the driver, expressing gratitude for the driver’s care of the car, asking for understanding from the driver, and being cute about exaggerated things Emotions. Certain actions of the car may include playing a soothing song or giving more detailed instructions when the driver is excited, opening the door for the driver only, ventilating the car when the driver appears drowsy, or offering a weather-related song .

The researchers discuss how focusing on the human-dog relationship and the emotional connection between our two species can improve design and satisfaction with a range of products and systems: “We expect our understanding of petmorphic design and its adoption can enable this in smart car contexts A useful approach to design future intelligent products and systems in such a way that they are more emotionally sensitive, more natural and more pleasant in human-machine interactions. “

Designers of a new generation of intelligent cars are banking on the idea that some of what people want from their car matches the benefits of their relationship with their dogs. I don’t see how the love and emotional fulfillment that comes from a relationship with a dog can ever be achieved by a car. However, if something is designed to be a bit like a dog, then I’ll probably like it more than if it had absolutely no resemblance to dogs at all.