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Technology and Traffic Safety – Janne Bach

Technology and Traffic Safety

Designing to improve safety for cyclists

Description

This project was part of the course Interaction Design at Digital Design. A final exhibition was conducted and Østjysk Innovation was present to evaluate our projects and elect winners. Our concept was selected as wild card winner for being the most creative idea.

Context and problem
Aarhus is a true city of bike cycles as the second biggest city in Denmark and at the same time also a city with around 34.000 students. But the city is a hilly place when getting around and there are many bigger intersections. Because of the heavy traffic and the many cyclists a lot of accidents and dangerous situations occur. And in situations like these the cyclist will always be the vulnerable one opposite the driver. One of the most dangerous intersections for cyclists in Aarhus is the crossroad between Vestre Ringgade and Silkeborgvej. An element in the intersection that constitutes a special risk for the safety of the cyclists is the high speed that the cyclists attain from the northern direction and downhill to the crossroad.
This high speed calls for a greater part of the cyclists’ attention in proportion to move around bumps in the cycle path as well as assess the roles of other road users in the situation. Thereby it also gets harder for the cyclists to orientate themselves towards the cone of light in the intersection and to judge whether the green light is reachable or if it will change soon and therefore should start slowing down. This could make it hard for the cyclist to stop in time if the light suddenly changes from green to red.

Concept
We address the problem in the intersection through the concept we chose to call “Lyslunten” (The Light Fuse in english).

The fuse consists of a long stripe of small LEDs in the cycle path. These LEDs will reflect the cycle of the traffic signal and in a specified speed move towards the traffic signal. Thereby it will function as a countdown.
If there is a green light in the traffic signal the lights in the fuse will be green as well. They will gradually be replaced by red lights, which indicates that the traffic signal will shift from green to red. Once the red light reaches the traffic signal it will happen simultaneously with the traffic signal changing to red. Hereby, the cyclists will drive next to The Light Fuse and have easier access to judge whether the green light will still be on once they reach the intersection or if the light will change to red and therefore urges them to slow down and stop.

This concept can be seen as an extension of the current traffic signal in time and space. The Light Fuse makes it easier for cyclists to estimate whether they can catch the green light or if they in good time can see that they should start slowing down.

 

Keywords

Interaction Design | Smart Cities | Prototyping
When
2012
Where
Aarhus University
Course
Interaction Design