For all the talk about building cars that are more connected, what concerns Windows Embedded Automotive more than anything else is making them safer. It’s really all that experience designer David Walker focuses on. Before coming to Microsoft, David was a captain for Air Canada, and the airline eventually appointed him as an accident investigator. That experience opened David’s eyes to the need for dashboard controls that could be understood with a momentary glance – a concept known as glanceable design. And as you’ll see in the video, he’s gone so far as to build what he calls a “wooden car” in his living room so he can experiment in his off hours with the use of heads-up displays.
David’s co-pilot, as it were, is David Kelley, who oversees the software development of Windows Embedded Automotive. Mr. Kelley has worked on the automotive team at Microsoft for around 14 years, so he’s developed a keen understanding of the car industry and its constant focus on safety and reliability. He’s also a big fan of Formula One and volunteers his time to teach defensive driving and accident avoidance techniques to local car clubs. It’s a great reminder of the need for technologies that minimize distractions and keep the driver focused on the horizon, rather than what’s immediately in front of them.