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research-article

InnoGPS for Data-Driven Exploration of Design Opportunities and Directions: The Case of Google Driverless Car Project

[+] Author and Article Information
Jianxi Luo

Engineering Product Development Pillar and SUTD-MIT International Design Centre, Singapore University of Technology and Design, 8 Somapah Road, Singapore, 487372
luo@sutd.edu.sg

Bowen Yan

Engineering Product Development Pillar and SUTD-MIT International Design Centre, Singapore University of Technology and Design, 8 Somapah Road, Singapore, 487372
bowen_yan@sutd.edu.sg

Kristin Wood

Engineering Product Development Pillar and SUTD-MIT International Design Centre, Singapore University of Technology and Design, 8 Somapah Road, Singapore, 487372
kristinwood@sutd.edu.sg

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037680 History: Received March 04, 2017; Revised August 05, 2017

Abstract

Engineers and technology firms must continually explore new design opportunities and directions, to sustain or thrive in technology competition. However, related decisions are normally based on personal gut feeling or experiences. Although the analysis of user preferences and market trends may shed light on some design opportunities from a demand perspective, design opportunities are always conditioned or enabled by the technological capabilities of designers. Herein, we present a data-driven methodology for designers to analyze and identify what technologies they can design for the next, based on the analysis of the data on technologies. The methodology is based on the principle - what a designer can currently design condition or enable what it can design next. The core of the method is an empirically built network map of all known technologies, whose distances are quantified using more than 5 million patent records. On the map, one can position a designer according to the patents or technologies that they can design, and navigate technologies through near neighborhoods to far fields, to identify feasible or novel design opportunities and directions. Furthermore, we have integrated the technology space map, and various map-based functions for designer positioning, neighborhood search, path finding and knowledge discovery and learning, into a data-driven visual analytic system named InnoGPS. InnoGPS is a GPS for finding innovation positions and directions in the technology space, and conceived by analogy from the GPS that we use for positioning, neighborhood search and direction finding in the physical space.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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