Enabling faster and more adequate emergency response for motorcyclists in traffic accidents
Riding alone increases the risk of not being found in time if an accident happens.Lacking information from the crash site results in decreased chance of survival for the motorcyclist.Keeping an open dialogue with paramedics reveals what's important to know about the rider after the crash.What needs to be communicated, and when?There is a large diversity of subgroups within the motorcycle culture. Getting to know characteristics, driving habits and attitudes is a key part of the research.Workshops resulted in a large variety of ideas answering the question of how to identify an accident and how to get the information that's important to communicate.Sketches from the ideation are analyzed at the main office of SMC, together with motorcyclists and experts within the field of biomedical engineering.Based on the analysis and user feedback, the concept of a garment using smart textiles is chosen and refined.How can the information be transmitted to the paramedics? Evaulation shows that a small clip-on-device with communication capabilities is needed.Exploring the design and material use of the garment.Sensors are woven into the fabric of the garment, making it possible to measure heart and breathing frequency.Using physical prototypes to evaluate different ways to attach the device to the garment.The final design is inspired by safety products and dynamic garments.Building the clip-on device.The final design proposal consists of two products, a garment with electroactive textiles and a small device for transmitting the information.Final design of the garment.Final design of the device.The final products combined.

Abstract

What if the emergency response directly knew exactly where to go and what to do if a road accident occured? During the last ten years the number of motorcyclists in Sweden has doubled. Every year, more than 300 riders are seriously injured and over 40 die in road accidents. Being found in time is critical to increase the chance of survival. The goal of this project has been to enable a fast and adequate emergency response for motorcyclists and other unprotected road users.

Inspiration and Method

Work on improving post-crash emergency response has come a long way. However, it can be argued that the progress in large has only been beneficial for car drivers – enabling the same possibility for motorcyclists has been the main motivation behind this project. The final product is inspired by the context, the users and their demands and highly multifaceted culture. Involving motorcyclists, paramedics and technical experts in the design process has provided a deeper understanding of the possibilities and constraints, as well as given rise to many questions in the large crossection of design, gender and sustainability.

Result

The result consists of two devices. A sweater worn closest to the body monitors the rider's heart and breathing frequency through electroactive textiles. Secondly, a small clip-on device calculates the impact force, location and other critical information at the time of the accident, and transmits this to an operator. During the emergency response, the paramedics will be updated on the situation and are able to prepare for the situation. This means a higher chance of survival for the rider, and better resource management for the health care system. This solution enables a fast and adequate emergency response in the case of an accident, while also taking the rider habits, context and cultural aspects into consideration. The final design should be viewed as a proposal – a foundation to develop new color and shape combinations in order to better suit the large diversity within the motorcycle culture.