Supporting 'design for all' in automotive ergonomics

2015-06-24T14:06:46Z (GMT) by Dan Hogberg Keith Case
The automotive industry faces increasingly tough competition in a global market. One key for competitiveness is product differentiation, in order to attract clearly defined market segments. However, designing cars for specific customer groups incorporates the risk that a car appeals to only a small number of potential buyers. Another issue is that the actual customer group in many cases differs from the initially targeted customer group. The use of the ‘design for all’ (DfAll) concept may very well enlarge a car manufacturer’s market and improve the vehicles by making them suit larger populations. This paper discusses the aims of a research project that seeks to identify areas where both the main targeted customer group and others can gain from a ‘design for all’ approach. Other objectives are to suggest working methods that enable ‘design for all’ in the automotive development process and the identification of computer tools, such as virtual manikins, that can support these objectives early in a virtual design process.