The majority of Uber and Lyft passengers are women, but understandably, many still have concerns about their safety during their trips. Their concern is justified.
Between 2012 and 2015 alone, there have been anywhere from 170 to 6160 reported cases of sexual assault incidents in rideshares. It’s a difficult statistic to quantify; as the #MeToo movement recently brought to our attention, many cases of harassment and sexual assault of not only women, but people of all genders and orientations are not reported.
In addition to the very real risk of assault that comes with today’s rideshare experience, 76 percent of women are skeptical driverless cars will be safe. With Uber and Lyft now offering pilot autonomous rides, the combination of rideshare and autonomous driving is fast approaching. There are new, unique design challenges emerging around ensuring that women and other vulnerable groups of people, such as children and the elderly, feel safe.
Through various projects at Teague over the last few years, we've steeped ourselves in thinking about what it means for people to trust autonomous vehicles. While we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface, here are some insights on what we’ve learned about designing inclusively.