SMART PROTECTION FOR MOTORCYCLISTS
Project Partner and Background
The Fraunhofer Society is Europe’s biggest organisation for applied science. Fraunhofer acts as a development partner and offers the needed expertise for development of the technology solutions with partners from different industries.
Despite the vast number of protective systems on the market, the rate of severe injuries and often death due to accidents involving motorcyclists is very high. A rising safety consciousness in the motorcycle community and the capability of Fraunhofer to develop unprecedented products where the main reasons to address this subject.
The goal of the project was to develop smart protection for motorcycle riders. The first task was to gain proper insights of different types of riders and their driving habits.
Approach and Methodology
In order to reach the goal of the project a specific method, the “Design Thinking” approach, had to be used throughout the project. It is an iterative and human centred approach focusing on interdisciplinarity. Students from the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (WU) worked together with a student of Mechanical Engineering from TU, Vienna.
Research was conducted through observations, self-test and a substantial secondary research.
Key insights are needs of the customer that where not discovered before. Understanding the key insights was the team’s first task. They were derived from interviews (n=53), observation and self-tests (n=63) and secondary research (n=23). Afterwards, the information was evaluated and clustered based on strategic fit with the project goals and market relevance of the solution and eventually approved by the project partner.
The most important key insights are:
Lack of situational awareness and overview (especially in urban areas)
Insufficient visibility of the motorcyclists
Need for better motorcycle control
Mistakes by other traffic participants.
The second phase of the methodology starts with ideation. This is the part in which the group members try to find a solution (product/system) that will meet the chosen key insights. A creativity workshop helped the group to understand and apply different methods of creating ideas based on the chosen key insights. The ideas were visualized, discussed and shortlisted in order to be taken to the next phase.
To meet the needs of urban motorists on city tours (chosen target group, as agreed with the project partner), the complexity of the product should be as low as possible to allow convenient day to day application. Based on community data a system that gives the rider information on the perfect driving speed as well as warning the motorcyclists from potential threats was presented. In order to accomplish this in a way that is aligned with user needs, prototypes were built and presented to the users. Their feedback was used to adapt the prototypes and develop the final product.