Polestar is an independent Swedish premium electric performance car brand founded by Volvo Cars and Geely Holding. Polestar‘s goal is to blend high-tech offerings with modern Swedish styling and focus on sustainable development.
The objective of this project was to create a physical steering wheel with interface functionality to enhance the entertainment experience on the steering wheel of Polestar 2. The double diamond methodology was utilized through this 10 week project.
I was attracted by the design language of Polestar 2- modern materials and fresh bright colors that create a futuristic combination of style and simplicity.
The interior of the Polestar 2 has a unique look that combines novel materials balancing technical advancement and minimalistic aesthetics. At the same time, Polestar made the conscious choice to use materials that minimized production waste and reduce negative environmental impact.
The Polestar 2 has been designed and engineered to provide a unique driving experience. The Polestar 2 is the first car to integrate Android Automotive software into its digital ecosystem.
The interior accents of the car uses reconstructed irregular waste wood. This non-traditional way of repurposing conventional materials creates an unique contrast that brings heightened visual interest.
The steering wheel of the polestar 2 retains the shape and functionality of the Volvo steering wheel.
Polestar users have high expectations of user experience.
Improve the entertainment system for the Internet of Vehicles.
· Polestar 2‘ body is designed with fold lines, corners and geometric features to create an angular, sculptural appearance
· Minimized buttons on the interface for a futuristic feel.
· The interior design is simple and full of layers
· Exterior styling with a strong sense of line
· Minimalistic trend / Sustainable trend
By observing how the user's hand is situated on the steering wheel while turning, using cruise control, and accelerating, I determined which position the user's hand is in the longest.
3, 9, 12
· The position near the steering wheel 9 and 3 is the place where the hand has the longest contact.
· Under acceleration, the driver holds position above 9 and 3 with both hands.
· When turning, the position of the steering wheel 12 and the highlighted area are the hands needed to operate.
· The place where the steering wheel 5 and 7 are sometimes touched by the driver's hand.
Polestar’s customer base are those who have high expectations on the vehicle, quality designs and care for the environment.
· New middle class with high demand for quality.
· Dare to experiment, and pursue individuality.
· Does not conform to tradition, and are willing to try new things.
· When buying cars, they are likely to consider design, technology, environmental protection and personality at top of mind.
· Most have a career in niche fields like design, art, media, fashion and creative categories.
The goal of this project is to re-innovate the steering wheel incorporating entertainment while ensuring the safety of the driver. I would imaged that there would exist a touch bar slightly above the steering wheel that gives users a more easily accessible personalized space to control different aspects from music to aesthetic preferences. This would also reduce the number of times users need to turn their heads to operate the entertainment while driving.
· Reasonable button
· positionDashboard is visible.
· Arrange well of some the most frequently used buttons.
· It is necessary to strengthen the hand grip comfort when the handgrip a place frequently.
Display the interactive information on the steering wheel.The steering wheel will gradually develop in the direction of intelligence and emotion.
· Physical button
· Solid and steady handhold feeling
· Avoid accidentally touching the keys.
· The steering wheel's lateral dimensions are around in the 380 mm range.
· 3 Spoke steering wheels
During this phase, I explored how to design the shape of the steering wheel in line with Polestar’s design language. I designed several iterations and finally settled on the third and fifth steering wheel as the form to explore further in-depth.
I updated and modified the 3D model three times based on the feedback from the professor and the Jaguar designer, smoothed the longest contact area between the thumbs on both sides of the steering wheel, added details to the buttons, and raised the angle of the chamfer.
I developed an interface design for the touch bar area, considering the feedback given by users and their high expectations for the design. In addition, the touch bar area allows users easier access to the interactive features they require during driving, reducing the need to turn their heads to use the middle screen.
The 3D model was printed at a one-to-one scale for user testing to demonstrate the ease of use, size,
and performance of the touchscreen interface and 3D model.
Redesign the steering wheel for Polestar 2 project won European Product Design Award Winners of 2022 in Transportation/Auto Accessories and Interiors, more details can be found in the Website.
The entire experience has been challenging, but it has also allowed me to grow tremendously. I tried to keep design language, ergonomics, and user experience in mind when designing this product. I have outlined four points that I learned from this project and that will be valuable in my future work.
When designing for a specific client or brand, the design requirements of the client and the brand's brand language should be considered. The user should be the priority.
Do not restrict yourself to the design direction that you are most familiar with and good at. The best instructor for divergent design thinking is to explore and experiment.
There were a lot of problems with 3D model during design processt. With the advice of my professor and expert designers, I improved the entire design process through multiple revisions, and each revision pushed the project in a positive direction.
This project encountered a number of failures, such as the 3D printed model breaking due to incorrect parameters being set, but every failure forced me to reflect and think about alternative solutions.