‘Where Do Cars Go at Night’ is a children’s book of the future. In this future, we will have to teach our children what self-driving cars do at night. The book tells the story of self-driving car CARLA-15 and what she will be doing all night, while the rest of the world sleeps.
CARLA-15’s story shows how life will change once autonomous vehicles are an everyday reality. CARLA-15 is part of a shared-vehicle fleet that brings us from A to B during the daytime, but won’t need to “sit around and sleep” during the night. CARLA-15 explains how she will be able to help us with our daily tasks, while we are sleeping.
To discuss this book with true experts, we decided to get in touch with Sven Beiker, an expert on autonomous mobility, and a bunch of kids (clearly experts on childhood entertainment). Take a look at what their opinions on self-driving vehicles were...
Video summing up ours, the expert’s and the kids' thoughts about what cars will be up to at night.
Mobility is deeply woven into our everyday lives. Changes to this part of our daily routine will impact us in many ways. Without human drivers streets will be safer and traffic flow will increase. Land use might change as we change our travel behavior. All these topics and more are illustrated in the book for everybody to understand.
How self-driving vehicles will change mobility is starting to be common talk within the mobility sector. It’s just a matter of time until we all get to know the true promise of self-driving cars. Which is why we want to break down the discussion and bring it to a level that everybody - even the smallest - can relate to.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few."
— Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind)
Transporting people from A to B will only be one of the services cars will help us with. Creating scenarios of the future is one way to understand and discuss how self driving cars might change mobility as we currently understand it. Telling CARLA-15’s story we have a couple of intentions:
- In 10 years it will be totally normal that cars drive around for us at night. Answering this question will be just like explaining where the sun goes when it’s dark.
- Creating services that self-driving vehicles can assist us with is an expert’s topic. Making a children's book is supposed to open this discussion by simplifying this complex topic.
- For many people self-driving vehicles are still a thing of the future. ‘Where Do Cars Go at Night’ is also supposed to illustrate what we can expect from this technology.
Once we held the first hard copy of ‘Where Do Cars Go at Night’ in our hands, it was clear that we needed this book to be evaluated by real experts! A curious bunch of kids from the Johanniter Kindergarten in Erkrath, along with kids from the international school in Stuttgart, met up with us and shared their thoughts of self-driving vehicles.
Take a minute to browse through the book.
We see this book as a common ground to discuss autonomous mobility, hence we also asked Sven Beiker (former Executive Director of CARS at Stanford University and Mobility Consultant at McKinsey) for his thoughts on ‘Where Do Cars Go at Night’.
During one of our design workshops at HfG Susanne Purucker brought up the question, what will self driving cars do at night? She answered this question with a concept version of 'Where Do Cars Go at Night'. Together with Wolfgang Gruel we took this draft and worked out a story around CARLA-15, and her friends. While Shiori Clark was another great enrichment to the team creating the characteristic illustrations bringing the story to life.