Cruise Automation

Summer 2018

In the Summer of 2018, I interned as a 3D Interaction Designer at GM Cruise Automation, a self-driving car company in San Francisco. During my time there, I designed and wrote code for a real-time 3D interactive experience that aims to demystify the complexities of self-driving technology.

Problem Space

A big problem in the AV industry is the lack of public trust in the safety of the technology. Based on research, we found that one of the best way to gain trust is by explaining how the technology itself works.

I created a interactive experience using the real-time data from the vehicle that communicated these complex concepts in a way that makes sense to non-engineers.

Real Data

This seems obvious, but in order to make an accurate explanation one needs to stay true to the actual data. Thus, this project became more procedual in nature, able to be executed with any dataset from any drive.

Here you can see the comparison to the drive video and the interactive experience.


Below you will find various iterations of the visual and performance progression I made during my time at Cruise.

First implementation of raycasting triggers to affect camera angles.

Using Cinema 4D to figure out the right level of abstraction.

Different stages of my visual and interaction iterations.

Added more visual polish with colors, and changed camera angles when clicked.

Adding some copy to the different technologies at Cruise Automation, as well as more visual polish with Ambient Occlusion

Final Thoughts

This project was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about 3D Interaction Design, parametric/procedural design, and data visualization. It was empowering to be trusted to think not only through pixels, but through logic as well—it has definitely influenced the direction I have chosen to go as a designer.

There is so much else from this project and my internship that isn't captured here. Feel free to contact me directly to find more information.