Every morning, industrial designer Clément Dauchy rides his bike to work in San Francisco. On rare occasions, he would hit all the traffic lights on green and breeze to work. Mostly, though, he’d get stuck at red light after red light. When cycling up the city’s many hills getting stuck at a light meant wasting extra energy to get started again.
It quickly became like an everyday challenge to pass all those lights without stopping, counting time on my watch and trying to get the right speed
Enter Orion, a conceptual navigation tool for cyclists. Orion Cycling Navigation would not only help you get to our destination by providing route information, it would also help you maximize your efficiency by giving you info on traffic lights as well.
The device, which features an e-paper display and clips onto a handlebar mount, connects to Google Maps via Bluetooth and uses that data from a connected phone to tell riders the pertinent information to get to their destination in a timely manner. Keeping the information simple improves safety while riding.
A light bar points in the direction you should go, similar to a compass. It also displays the distance to the next traffic signal, if the signal is red or green, and how long it will remain that color. Finally, the device tells riders how long and steep any particular hill is so they can pace themselves accordingly.
Unfortunately, Orion is purely conceptual. There are no plans from Dauchy to actually produce it. I do, however, think there are some lessons the Garmin and other big head unit companies could learn from the interface and design. I’d love to have traffic light info on all of my bikes.