18 May 2021 – Greenwich, CT
For a Feasibility Study, we chose to analyze what part of the wheel changing process took the longest time. We then were able to come up with solutions in order to make the process more efficient. Through physical testing and multiple survey responses, we were able to figure out the area where people were struggling the most. The majority of participants became stuck at the Sill Cover Panel.
I believe that these covers are inexpensive and very difficult to operate. Personal interaction with the sill covers in the past resulted in my knuckles scraping against the asphalt and drawing blood. Now everytime I remove the sill cover, I bring a pair of gloves so that I can protect my hands. This should not be the case with an Audi sports car.
In order to protect customers from the most taxing step in the entire wheel changing process, I believe that Audi should look at different options for making the sill cover easier to remove. As a sticker to the old glove method, I would be complacent with receiving a pair of Audi race gloves so that I can remove the Sill panel with ease. However, I see an area where people are experiencing trouble and I would like to indulge in some ideas that could fix this unfortunate obstacle.
The first idea draws upon something similar to that of the Thule® origin. When I used to ski, I would use a rotating lock device on my roof rack. Due to the sleek design of the rack overing the catching point, the Thule® rack was the epitome of all roof racks. Ice, snow, rain, and hail; this design was impeccable and always proved to be effective.
As someone who has dealt with the Sill Cover on the Audi S6 in extreme conditions, I am motivated to make sure no one has to go through the mental and physical hardships that I had to endure. When met with extreme conditions the normal ‘down N’ out’ maneuver was not working well as the entire apparatus was covered in ice. In this situation I just used work gloves, however, I feel that the average consumer would be in absolute agony.
This was, yet again, an example of how taxing the sill cover is and how to improve this situation for those looking to change a tire on an Audi s6.
The second idea draws upon the locking mechanism in your classic and generic clip-on belt. By using a simple snap and lock mechanism, the sill cover can be easily removed with the least amount of extra work. Customers do not like extra work and this would only ensure them that Audi has the best interests in mind when it comes to their premium customers.
The third idea is just a safety net in case you do not get this far. By supplying a pair of nice gloves in the wheel well, you can help owners perform necessary tasks without getting grease and mud all over their fine clothing.
In order to understand the target customer for an Audi S6 I compiled a survey which was distributed to a group of Volkswagen Group Car Owners in order to understand issues that most drivers within this corporation are dealing with. Through responses and product testing, we were able to figure out the areas of the wheel changing process that were proven to be overly strenuous. All subjects slowed down at the sill cover, due to the complexity of such a side quest.
In order to turn this issue into an asset, I felt that it would be best to mimic these examples based on successful products in the past. Due to oversaturation in the markets, you should be fine to use one of these and it should help convey the strive for perfect usability.
When faced with extreme conditions and decreased mobility of the phalanges, it is custom to use clasps and locks, rather than using whatever the audi S6 has today for a sill cover.
By having participants interact with the vehicle, I was able to help gauge a particular issue, as well as help figure out a possible solution.
Through all of this, I believe that any of the choices would be sufficient. However, I personally feel that the inclusion of nice race gloves paired with slide out button sill covers would do the car wonders. I recommend that you take everything into careful consideration and think about this in the future.
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