Sensus is a vehicle-to-vehicle communication system that offers different modes of transportation a way to speak to one another as a means of ensuring awareness and safety on the roads. 

 

Company

Rhode Island School of Design

Timeframe

Sept 2014 - Dec 2014

Team

Alissa Lee / Industrial Designer
Hanna Oh / Industrial Designer
Jeongwoo Lyo / Industrial Designer

 
 

Problem

As we have all experienced, congestion and safety concerns are unavoidable problems that result when traveling in dense, urban environments. To alleviate this issue, my team and I were inspired to learn about the transportation infrastructure and deliver a solution that could ensure and sustain safety for all modes of transportation on the road.

Based on our discovery research, it was reported that 53% of on-road collisions occur at broadside or intersections. Travelers are either undetected or unaware of each other’s location in these tight corners, especially for the car driver. Blind spot zones of a car are larger than one can perceive, and have thus caused major problems for drivers and the surrounding modes of transportation.

 

― User Needs

Thirty-eight user interviews (15 car owners and 23 cyclists, pedestrians, etc.) were conducted in urban locations like NYC and Providence to get a better perspective as to how our users are impacted by the current problems that occur causing on-road collisions. We asked questions discussing relevant concerns and possible solutions that would help in improving the transport experience between vehicles and other modes of transportation. 

Users 

15 car owners + 23 cyclists / 38 total users

Location

New York City, NY and Providence, RI

― Concept Exploration

After synthesizing the user research, we deduced that physical awareness between modes of transportation would help resolve safety and liability issues on the road. Upon diverging and converging on numerous concepts for our product, we gauged which ones to move forward with based on these criteria: feasibility, desirability, and viability. Once our team narrowed down to four concepts, we asked our users which idea best suited their needs, and documented their feedback through colored dots.

 

― System Design

We researched numerous technologies and products that could provide the location-tracking capabilities Sensus needs to give our users better awareness of surrounding travelers. This effort led us to design the Sensus Network System

 

Personas

Upon doing extensive user interviews, we created two personas that best represented the 38 users we researched: car drivers and non-car owners (ie cyclists, pedestrians, etc.)


USER 1

Modes of transportation other (besides cars)
-- cyclists,
-- pedestrians,
-- motorcyclists

This user would wear or carry the Sensus movement tracker so that vehicles on the road can detect the 5.9GHz band that is emitted by the tracker.

They would also have the Sensus app available to them, which features three major functions: map, accident protocol and the history log. These three features are designed to help commuters travel from place to place, record any accidents, as well as search for nearby attractions or features that assist in improving their travel experience.


User 2

Vehiclists
-- car owners
-- truck drivers
-- taxi drivers

For the car user, he or she would use the Sensus dashboard app to track on-road travelers. This dashboard app performs similarly to that of the mobile app service in featuring the map, accident protocol and the history log functionality. It also utilizes the vehicle’s built-in audio and display system to present visual and audible indicators when alerting a car driver of surrounding on-road parties once the V2V communication technology has detected their 5.9 GHz signal.


 

Sensus strives to be a unified system that encourages all travelers to be more responsible and aware on the road in order to ensure a safer and engaging traveling experience. 

 

 

UX Responsibilities

— Co-conducted contextual inquiry interviews with actual users and synthesized research
— Researched statistics regarding collisions and other safety issues contributed by various modes of transportation
— Researched technologies that could support the architecture of the  “Sensus Network System”
— Defined user personas and user flow
— Created wireframes and final for mobile app and car dashboard app