Problematic Silence of Mobility

Product Design

2012  This project was made in cooperation with Tongji University in Shanghai, China. In the frame of the rising usage of electronic vehicles a problem has been pointed out: the silence of the devices. While it is quite strange that silence is considered a problem, the premise is indeed applicable in what traffic is considered because an essential security element in this context is to be conscious of the other vehicles around. When the sound of the vehicles disappears, it becomes difficult for pedestrians, other drivers and the drivers themselves to beware of themselves and have any feedback to be secure, leaving the traffic actors to trust only in the visual input.

In order to solve this problem we formed groups with our Chinese partners and each group decided to concentrate in different vehicles and later in different focus parts of these vehicles. We concentrated on electric bikes and after trying out different ideas for creating a sound without jeopardising the battery live nor the aerodynamics of the vehicle, we decided to go forth with out prototype that consists in an add-on for the rays of the bike that make the air come in and bring it out creating a sound that is noticeable yet not annoying.

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Ideas sorting and prototyping process