Project Progression – Verified User Needs
In autumn 2015, we conducted a market research primarily focusing on the evaluation of the needs of potential future European customers. The aim of this survey was to gain a thorough understanding of user requirements for new L-category vehicle concepts, taking current infrastructurale challenges and demographics into consideration.
Identifying existing user needs and taking them into account in further product development are crucial in order to produce a product accepted and desired by the targeted customer groups.
As a first step, traffic situations were rated by the EU-LIVE consortium using an online survey.
The six identified situations were:
- Driving in the city under bad weather conditions.
- Finding a parking space and parking the vehicle.
- The transportation of goods.
- The vehicle requires service.
- Approaching a car sharing vehicle, entering it and preparing it for a drive.
- An exhausting drive in the city under bad traffic conditions.
Subsequently, a total of 59 participants were organized into focus groups of six to eight participants each at three European locations (Bergamo, Italy; Vienna, Austria; Aachen, Germany). They were questioned to hypothetically put themselves into the above-mentioned situations. One of our designers supported the entire process, skilfully illustrating the individual challenges the participants were confronted with.
Following the discussion of a traffic situation within the focus groups, the participating customers were asked to rate the suggestions they made using the “5 point Likert scale”, ranging from “not important at all” to “very important” with respect to the realization of the desired technical implementation in a future vehicle. This prioritization facilitated the later conversion of non- functional requirements (user needs) into functional requirements i.e. technical specifications of the vehicle concepts.
Finally, we were able to identify several essential overall needs, such as safety, driving experience and information, which were integrated as requirements into the further product development.
The overall needs represent customer requirements which future vehicles must fulfil in order to guarantee the product’s success. Using this information on existing gaps in today’s range of vehicles will inevitably lead to the development of products which are highly accepted and desired by customers.
The corresponding public deliverable (D1.2 Verified User Needs) is expected to be released at the beginning of next year, in 2017.