Zeitschrift für Ergonomie

Zeitschrift für Ergonomie
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ISSN: 2165-7556


Safety Concerns and Design Challenges of Side-Saddle Pillion Riders of Motorized Two-Wheelers in India: A Case Study Designing a Saree Guard and Footrest

Shroff N, Mitchell KB, Vallabhaneni T, Deshpande P, Kazan H, Sahai A, Tyler PJ and Brooks JO

Before designers develop a product for a distinctive market (e.g., India) they must understand what makes that market unique and how that society will influence their design. This paper outlines the distinctive features of motorized two-wheelers (e.g., Harley Davidson® motorcycles) in India and a design approach to address the individuality of the market and its societal influences. A literature review provides basic background of the economic, environmental, policy, cultural, and physical influences on the Indian two-wheeler, and how they relate to safety concerns specific to pillion passengers. Members of the research team (cross section of engineers and research psychologists) emulated the behavior of users in order to develop their design; interviews with users in India also informed prototypes and models. The team was able to design a product where the drive train and rear wheel could be protected, decreasing the likelihood that sarees (a traditional long dress worn by Indian women) would become caught, while increasing anticipated comfort of the side-saddle pillion rider and the driver. By employing these market-focused methods, other designers can identify unique safety, comfort, and/or convenience issues in other types of transportation and develop concepts and products to meet those needs.