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2017

Self-Driving Society

A design exploration on the future of autonomous mobility and its impact on society

How will autonomous mobility impact the society of the future? What are the opportunities, the challenges and the new innovation scenarios prompted by this new technological transformation? These are some of the questions that led Giulio Ceppi and the Giannino Bassetti Foundation to promote the research topic of the Self-Driving Society.

As a Senior Consultant for Design & Academy, Fabio Besti conceptualized and led for the Foundation this extensive research. The work started with the students of the Design School of Politecnico di Milano in 2017, and later culminated with the publication of the white paper Responsibility Driven Design for the Future Self-Driving Society and the creation of a dedicated website and a social media campaign to disseminate it.

This research project was instrumental for Fondazione Giannino Bassetti to establish itself as one of the key opinion leaders in Milan and in Italy on the topic of the future of mobility. Many activities and achievements were prompted by this work: the involvement of the Foundation in the Tavolo su Smart Mobility e Intelligenza Artificiale of the Lombardy Region and the co-creation with MEET | Fondazione Cariplo of the series of conferences Meet the Media Guru | Around Mobility, just to name a few.

Self-Driving Society | Moment of the workshop at Politecnico di Milano
Self-Driving Society | Data of Economic & Societal Value of Mobility Digitalisation by World Economic Forum

In 2017 Fabio Besti was asked to create and run a workshop inside Self Driving Society @2030, the Final Synthesis Studio at the Master in Integrated Product Design of Politecnico di Milano, coordinated by prof. Giulio Ceppi.

Together with Francesco Samorè we approached the workshop with the goal of having students work on Responsible Innovation (which is the mission of Fondazione Bassetti) and its application to the scenario of the Self-Driving Society. We created a format and several tools specifically thought to help students combine responsibility topics in the field of driverless technologies with design requirements.

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    Fabio Besti presenting the workshop to the class © photo by Tommaso Correale Santacroce

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    Fabio Besti presenting the workshop to the class © photo by Tommaso Correale Santacroce

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    The students gathered around prof. Francesco Samorè during a collective review of the projects © photo by Tommaso Correale Santacroce

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    Prof. Giulio Ceppi introduces the workshop of Fondazione Bassetti © photo by Tommaso Correale Santacroce

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    Prof. Francesco Samorè introducing the workshop and the Collingridge Dilemma to the students © photo by Tommaso Correale Santacroce

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    Prof. Francesco Samorè during second round of project reviews with the students © photo by Tommaso Correale Santacroce

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    Fabio Besti during the second round of project reviews with the students © photo by Tommaso Correale Santacroce

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    Tommaso Gecchelin founder of Next Future Transportation during his lecture to the class at Politecnico di Milano© photo by Tommaso Correale Santacroce

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    Tommaso Gecchelin founder of Next Future Transportation during his lecture to the class at Politecnico di Milano© photo by Tommaso Correale Santacroce

For the workshop, we conceived a couple of tools in order to help students embed Responsible Innovation’s principles into the design of the self-driving society of the future. The encouraging results of the workshop, convinced us of the richness of this approach that we called Responsibility-Driven Design and prompted us to share these tools with any professional, organization or university interested in using them.

Self-Driving Society Matrix Draft - Fabio Besti Interdisciplinary Design
Self-Driving Society | Early sketch of the Responsibility Matrix

Download the Responsibility Matrix and the Collingridge Positioning and use them freely under Creative Commons license

The delivery format

An intense week of design, frontal lectures, brainstormings and project reviews, eventually produced 44 concepts and visions for the responsible development of the future society living in a world permeated by driverless technologies.

Combining conventional design disciplines and policy making concerns, students succeeded in developing projects which tackled complex issues on the social impact of this technology innovation and which represented also plausible future businesses’ ideas.

Self-Driving Society | A selection of the students projects

The white paper. Responsibility Driven Design for the Future Self-Driving Society

The compelling results of the workshop confirmed to us the value of this approach that we defined responsibility-driven design and led us to write and publish a white paper with the aim of engaging all the stakeholders involved in this imminent technological transition.

Mobility automation, in fact, will not only have an impact on the transportation industry itself, it will lead to the transformation of the socio-cultural fabric of countries all over the world: habits and behavior will change, new products and services will improve people’s lifestyles, cities will be reshaped and, above all, society will transform itself in its complexity.

The focus shifts from the self-driving car to the self-driving society, indeed.

The white paper implicitly covers both innovation opportunities and innovation responsibilities, the two main areas to emerge from the analysis of the self-driving society. How can these two (often but wrongly identified as opposite) aspects of innovation be integrated?

Building upon the experience gained in the university, this work proposes the discipline of design and its methodologies as key tools to responsibly define and build a future society immersed in automated mobility systems.

Download the white paper here

Responsibility Driven Design for the Future Self Driving Society | Graphic Design of the main chapters of the white paper
Responsibility Driven Design for the Future Self Driving Society | Graphic Design of the White Paper
Responsibility Driven Design for the Future Self Driving Society | Graphic Design of the first three chapter of the white paper
Responsibility Driven Design for the Future Self Driving Society | Graphic Design of the first chapter of the White Paper
Responsibility Driven Design for the Future Self Driving Society | White paper opened on the Collingridge Dilemma page

Self-Driving Society website and digital dissemination

In order to strengthen the dissemination of the research and promote the white paper we designed and created the Self-Driving Society website (where it is possible to download the paper and the design tools), the flyers with QR codes, the social media cards along with the social media campaign.

Visit the website at selfdrivingsociety.fondazionebassetti.org/ 

Self-Driving Society | The Website and promotional flyers with QR codes
Self-Driving Society | The design of promotional flyers with QR codes
Self-Driving Society | Webdesign of the homepage and secondary page
Self-Driving Society | Social media card design for digital dissemination
Self-Driving Society | Multiple Social media card design for digital dissemination
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