BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A group of industrial design students from the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at the University of Bridgeport were awarded nearly every prize, including the $5,000 grand prize, at the recent New York International Auto Show for devices they designed to save lives in the event of traffic accidents or to prevent accidents from occurring.
Industrial Design majors Brian Rocks, Taehoon Park, Jiaping Zhao, Wenyu Xin, Shuhan Chen and Jiaxiang Shen won prizes at the “Designs for Safety Competition.” This is not the first time design school students have won safety competition prizes, said Industrial Design Chairman Richard Yelle, “but it is always exciting to see our students’ talent being recognized by automotive-industry and traffic-safety experts at this premier event.”
Jiaxiang Shen and Kiaping Zhao teamed up and won the $5,000 first prize for an emergency-alert LED system they named Patronus. It is connected to the air bag system and can be turned on manually or automatically. When a car is disabled, LED lights under the car immediately begin to flash quickly and brightly, so a vehicle equipped with the system can inform surrounding vehicles of an emergency situation.
Shuhan Chen and Wenyu Xin won $2,500 for their device, Double Direction Light. It aims to reduce the approximately 500,000 traffic accidents that occur each year at blind intersections and curvy roads with limited visibility. The Double Direction Light works by alerting traffic in both directions on a curvy road to optimize driver awareness. Sensors are placed along the roads. When the sensors detect vehicles passing, a light facing the other direction or on and intersecting road will blink for a while to alert oncoming vehicles.
The $1,250 third prize was awarded to Taehoon Park for Quartrone, an airborne ambulance system used to extract passengers from an isolated or difficult accident site. It is a remotely operated system. The vehicle is on top of an ambulance when not in use so medics can deploy Quartrone immediately at a scene of an accident. Since medic and patient can ride together on the Quartrone, medics can keep constant care for the patient.
Brian Rocks won a $1,250 fifth prize for the Lug Light. The Lug-Light fits on your tire just like any other standard lug nut. However, it also has the added capability of lighting up when it becomes loose. Along with a Bluetooth notification that’s received on the driver’s phone, the Lug-Light’s bright presence allows others to be aware of a potentially unsafe situation.
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