Project Aura prt II
Problem: What are ways of helping cyclists communicate their intentions to drivers?
Role: Co-founder, Design Researcher, Electrical Engineer
Responsibilities: Lead the business strategy and product development for Project Aura.
Skills used: Design strategy, design research, industrial design, Eagle CAD, product management
Design lead, user focused.
Project Aura is a startup I co-founded focused on bicycle safety lighting and communication. Currently there are two types bike lights: lights to be seen and lights to see. We believe there is a third type of light that has yet to be fully realized: lights to be understood. This isn’t a new paradigm – cars already implement this kind of informative lighting through turn signals, brake lights, hazard lights, etc. By bridging the information gap between drivers and riders we can make cyclists safer, thereby increasing ridership and the health of cities.
Project Aura’s goal is to improve the safety of urban cyclists through enhanced communication. We started with a wheel based lighting system, changing color based on speed: if you’re slowing down or stopped, the wheels turn red. Speed up and they turn white.
Great in theory, until we gave it to cyclists to try.
Our vision is predicated on communication, however it turned out after speaking with cyclists and drivers alike, the color change of the wheels wasn’t enough to be informative. Through months of testing and interviews with our Alpha Testers, we discovered what cyclists really need: a way to amplify their actions and for drivers to better anticipate cyclists' behavior. As a result, we broadened our scope. We decided to tackle safety as a system and develop a fundamental technology that will understand and anticipate what a cyclist will do and translate it into a meaningful output. This meant moving beyond wheel lighting.
We are now in the process of gathering data to train a model to predict cyclists behavior. This in turn will form the core technology that will power our next generation of bicycle safety products.
Moving beyond wheel lights.
In our current development stage, we are testing where an IMU sensor can extract the most information from the rider.