Client Design Proposal

Leading a team of colleagues to create a preliminary design proposal for a client, who required a modern automobile safety system.

In this project, Nathan and five colleagues were assigned Mehdi Saffarian as a client. Mehdi Saffarian is a researcher in the Human Factors and Applied Statistics Lab at the University of Toronto. Upon an initial meeting with Mehdi, he stated that he required a design that would aid in assisting elderly drivers by improving their abilities and senses required to operate a standard automotive vehicle.

Nathan was elected team leader and was therefore responsible for managing the design team and arranging subsequent meetings with Mehdi.

Preliminary Design Sketch

The team started by consulting factors and situations around the elderly and driving. First, they determined factors that negatively affect driving performance with age. This included loss of vision, hearing, cognitive ability, motor skills, height and bad posture. They also consulted research to determine the types and environment of the accidents that the elderly are typically in.

The stakeholders involved in the creation of the design were carefully reviewed, as well as the design’s functions, team’s objectives, applicable constraints, the service environment, and of course, any and all ethics and values associated with the client and users of the new design.

Nathan was responsible for outlining the problem statement, constructing an executive summary of the design process, identifying the key functions of the design, and providing a detailed description of the final design.

The proposed design addressed age-related impairments of elderly drivers through a combination of blind spot sensors and a smart camera. The team borrowed several early-development concepts, as they did not have the resources to create and test such technologies.

Nathan documented all regulations, standards and intellectual properties relating to the product design. In addition, he also decided how to test and market the design. The team also considered the product’s life cycle and any environmental, social and economical impacts it may have. 

In-Car Display Screen
Sensor Placement Locations

As the team leader, Nathan kept the client and the course-affiliated project manager regularly informed on the progress made by submitting a series of project plans.

Along with a written report, the team then presented the final design to Mehdi Saffarian and selected University of Toronto engineering faculty members.