Photo Jul 01, 7 48 38 PM.jpg

Project Aura prt II

Check out prt 1 here!

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.

 

I want my actions to be amplified
— Brad Hall
Receiving 40 printed and populated boards from our fab house for our wheel lights alpha test.

Receiving 40 printed and populated boards from our fab house for our wheel lights alpha test.

My friend snapchatting the madeness of me assembling and testing each test unit by hand.

My friend snapchatting the madeness of me assembling and testing each test unit by hand.

Lighting up the units for the first time.

Lighting up the units for the first time.

Ben's first ride with the lights.

Ben's first ride with the lights.

Basheer giving the lights a spin.

Basheer giving the lights a spin.

A few journals of our Alpha Testers

Brad Hall

Basheer Tome

Greg Tsang


Moving beyond wheel lights.

In our current development stage, we are testing where an IMU sensor can extract the most information from the rider.

Gathering additional data from various positions on the body.

Gathering additional data from various positions on the body.

We are exploring sensor locations on the rider and the bike.

We are exploring sensor locations on the rider and the bike.

WIP processing sketch to help correlate events from recorded video with IMU data.
Breaking down each function into discrete boards.

Breaking down each function into discrete boards.

Designing a breakout board for our LED driver

Designing a breakout board for our LED driver

In progress...