Mobility and the human/machine interlace

IxDA London
IxDA London
Public group
Location image of event venue


From humanising AI, we step to humanising autonomy. Tied hand-in-hand with the topic of the last IXDA London event, automation is one of the most hotly debated topics of our time, and probably at the peak of its hype cycle right now.

So what does automation really mean for life on earth – particularly with regard to how we get around? Will machines replace us, and our jobs? And will robo-taxis really be ferrying you around the streets of London in just a few short years time… so that you can watch your cat videos in peace and not have to interact with a real-life, grumpy cockney?

Tonight’s talks look at the humanising of autonomy. Kevin McCullagh kicks off with an exploration of how human and machines can work together, in a collaborative rather than combative way. Joe Simpson takes us into the here and now of early stage automotive autonomy and exploring how we get to the fully autonomous car. We finish off with Tim and Harsha, whose work at ustwo has seen them exploring – and write a book on – the need to humanise the fully-autonomous car of the future.

Each speaker will present for around 20 minutes, with 5 minutes reserved for questions at the end of each talk. All speakers will then take to the stage for a longer Q&A discussion, following Tim and Harsha’s concluding talk.

Kevin is founder of a product strategy consultancy called Plan. It helps mobility and consumer tech companies navigate the ambiguities in the initial stages of the product and service development process. His clients include: Ford, Toyota, Yamaha, Deutsche Telecom, Carl Zeiss, Microsoft, and Samsung.

He writes, speaks, and chairs conferences on design, innovation and society; and has been published in: The Wall Street Journal, The Telegraph, FastCompany, Icon, Blueprint and The Design Management Review.

Joe is a design strategist working with automotive brands to develop new products and services for the future. As the auto industry changes faster than ever before he has been working with Volvo’s on its plan for autonomous vehicles, and with Toyota to develop a holistic user experience.

Joe is also a visiting tutor in the Vehicle Design Department at London’s Royal College of Art and written on the automotive and technology industries for a number of online and print titles – including Wired, The Guardian, Stuff and Car Design News.

As’s resident car reviewer, he gets weekly, first-hand experience of how bad current in-car UX really is.

Tim and Harsha lead the Auto and Mobility design practise for ustwo, working on human centered experiences within and around the car, for a number of the largest global auto manufacturers.

Along with projects with the likes of Ford, Toyota, JLR and Nissan, they work on a broad range of self initiated and academic research projects. Most recently they published the first book ever released on UX design for autonomous vehicles: "Humanising Autonomy: Where Are We Going?" and have since been working with masters students in UCL, exploring key questions around autonomy.
Tim has a collection of over 1,000 toy cars and growing, whereas Harsha secretly prefers motorbikes to cars.