In this paper, we present the results of an online survey (N = 170) on emotional situations on the road. In particular, we asked potential early adopters to remember a situation where they felt either an intense positive or negative emotion while driving. Our research is motivated by imminent disruptions in the automotive sector due to automated driving and the accompanying switch to selling driving experiences over horsepower. This creates a need to focus on the driver’s emotion when designing in-car interfaces. As a result of our research, we present a set of propositions for affective car interfaces based on real-life experiences. With our work we aim to support the design of affective car interfaces and give designers a foundation to build upon. We find respondents often connect positive emotions with enjoying their independence, while negative experiences are associated mostly with traffic behavior. Participants who experienced negative situations wished for better information management and a higher degree of automation. Drivers with positive emotions generally wanted to experience the situation more genuinely, for example, by switching to a “back-to-basic” mode. We explore these statements and discuss recommendations for the design of affective interfaces in future cars.
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