Based on Paul Pangaro's research, we designed Aero to switch between four modes of conversation. Doing so will help avoid the current trend of virtual assistants assuming a servant-master model. In “guiding” or “collaborating,” Aero is taking the lead and adding value which opens up more possibilities for meaningful and novel interaction. 
ControllingA (passenger) tells B (Aero) what to do and how to do it 

Passenger: Okay Aero, add it to my itinerary.
DelegatingA sets goal but B decide means to reach it

Passenger: Aero, can we switch the drop-off order?
A sets goal but discusses means with B

Aero: There's a great photo opportunity coming up soon. I'll let you know when.
A and B decide together on goals

Aero: You might be interested in another activity beforehand if you like. 
Draft Conversational Scripts

Aero’s form is simple yet dynamic. 

The visual style of Motional and its parent company Aptiv is very clean and simple with minimal colors, it communicates a sense of professionalism and innovation. We followed this simplicity when designing Aero’s form. The final form is of two parallelograms stacked on top of each other with circle in the top left that gives it a slight anthropomorphic ‘eye’.
Motional Logo
Early Form Explorations

Final Form

Motion graphics visually engage passengers and support the Voice UI.

We created playful yet confident motion graphics with dynamic movements and simple transitions. The energy of Aero corresponds to the level of attention the passenger should give to what is being said. Aero has 7 conversational states that require distinct motion graphics:
  • Greeting - Aero greets the passenger as they settle into the car
  • Arrived - Aero lets the passenger know that they have reached their destination
  • Idle - Aero is present but not active
  • Notification - Aero needs to alert the passenger
  • Speaking - Aero is speaking
  • Listening - Aero is listening to the passenger
  • Thinking - Aero is thinking of a response to the passenger
Draft Motion Matrix
Final Motion Matrix