Scooter-bench concept wins Ford Fund Mobility Challenge in Europe

Ford Fund TOD Concept

Design students at the Royal College of Art, Corentin Janel and Guillaume Innocenti, whipped up a scooter-slash-bench hybrid concept called TOD, short for “talk or drive."

The TOD idea won the Ford Fund Smart Mobility Challenge, and £12,500 (around P868,000) will go to its creators for them to make the project a reality.

Organized by Ford Fund, the company’s corporate foundation and philanthropic arm, and the Royal College of Art in the UK, students participating in the challenge came up with urban mobility solutions.

A rideable bench is a great example of how design can help form the fabric of cities, as it’s something that’s fun, practical and multi-functional,” director of design at Ford Europe Amko Leenarts said. 

Ford Fund TOD Concept“It’s a clever way to make mobility part of the city, encourage people to interact and enable people to experience cities in a totally new way.”

TOD is designed as an adaptable transport with a static mode and mobile mode.

In static mode, it's simply a bench that can be extended to accommodate three people. Accessories such as chairs and corners can easily by added using a plug-in style kit system, while a flat square can be connected to two benches to form a picnic table.

In mobile mode, the TOD scooter is for up to two people with a maximum speed of 20kph. A hatch in the middle provides space for luggage, while stretching bands on the back and sides enables TOD to transport small and long items.

Ford Fund TOD ConceptTo use TOD, users can locate and book a bench or a sit-on scooter using a dedicated app.

“We wanted to create a community service that adapts to the urban life of its users. Winning the challenge gives us a lot of confidence in our proposal, and it allows us to build a prototype so that our idea can become a reality," winning designers Janel and Innocenti said.

"Working on a full-scale prototype will enable us to fully understand the package and at the same time think about the materials, the process, and the user experience,” the students added. 

Ford Fund also awarded £5,000 (around P347,000) to Cardiac Patrol, a proposal to equip private vehicles with automated external defibrillator devices for emergency use. Communi-T, an interactive vehicle that could help homeless people and those in need, was also awarded. 

Ford Fund Smart Mobility Challenges have been held across Europe at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences in Germany, Loughborough University in the UK, and the University of Valencia in Spain.

Photos from Ford

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