Road safety projectors

Our choice of an idea:

After a long discussion, our team decided to create a device to protect pedestrians and cyclists.


Car accidents are the cause of death in Israel of more than all wars casualties combined since 1948.  Pedestrians, cyclists and other people who are not driving cars are especially vulnerable and make up a rather large percentage of car accidents casualties.

In 2018, there were 1.35 million casualties, 26% of them were Israel in the past decade, over 1,150 pedestrians were killed in car accidents.


In Israel, approximatly 2,500 cyclists are involved in road accidents yearly.

The task: 

How can we reduce the involvment of pedestrians and cyclist in car accidents? 

Suggest an innovative idea that could prevent pedestrians and cyclists from being involved in life threatening situations on the road. Be creative, use every resource available: statistics online, your peers and experts. 


  1. Work in a small group of 4-5 students. Get to know one another! Each memeber of the group can contribute in his own way.
  2. Each group member- research the problem. What causes it? Who is hurt by it? research the necessity of a solution.
  3. Think of a solution. Does this idea already exist in the market? Can you make a better version of it?
  4. Document the plan of the work.
  5. Prepare to present your idea to "investors". Practice "pitching" with your peers.


1. Develop communication skills and teamwork competence. Each member is expected to take a role in the project and then discuss together about the task.

2. Manage your time and finish the project on time. (Requirement: Finish the project within  four weeks)

Here's a suggestion for managing your time:


Time needed

Define and clarify the given problem


Market research


Get the resources and essential information needed for the project


Analyze the problem and generate preliminary solutions


Refine the solutions and select the optimized one


Build the physical model according to the chosen solution


Analyze the solution and the model


Refine the design and the model


Prepare for the final presentation


Final presentation


3. Be initiative and creative. During the teamwork, you are expected to improve your critical thinking and problem-solving skills through discussion and teamwork. Requirements listed above are expected to fulfilled but are not limited. You are encouraged to enrich your project as best as you can.

4. Broaden your knowledge about marketing and data analyzing. Based on this, you may solidify your decision-making process.


1- Explain why your idea is necessary to society and how it contributes to solving the problem?

2- Present a model of your device/idea- you may use PPT presentations, videos or physical models.

3- Is there an existing solution to presented problem? How is your solution more efficient? 

Bonus questions:

1- What realm of knowledge can you incorporate into your idea?

2- Is it applicable to existing systems? 

3- Assume your budget is 50% lower. Can you reduce expenses while preserving the quality of your product/idea?



An example for a solution:


In Israel, 76% of accidents involving pedestrians occur on zebra crossings (source).we designed a solution to prevent road accidents around pedestrian crossings ("zebra crossings").

This problem requires a creative solution- due to the nature of distraction while crossing the street, as follows- 


Our idea was inspired by the optical illusion used in China, but refers to reckless pedestrians, specifically those who ride electic bicycles or scooters, and don't stop or slow down when getting to a crosswalk. In fact, in Israel, 100% of cyclists reported they crossed streets on their bicycle, unlawfully, without stopping nor slowing down (source).

This dangerous behavior led 62% of young cyclists to report that they experinced dangerous situations that could lead to an accident. 

Another problem is distracted pedestrians, which make up 25% of the population according to a 2016 research.

As a result, we came up with an innovative idea which can prevent pedestrians and cyclists from running the red lights.

Such illusionary technic only exists as graffiti or art currently but serves no practical purpose. The image of a sprinkler or guardrail would be used to stop pedestrians and cyclists from running the red lights today. There is no similar product on the market. Hence, such innovation will provide another effective way to protect people from traffic accidents.

Market research suggests that there no existing solution meant for pedestrians. Therefore, we have impelemented an existing concept on the other side of the road.

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪optical illusion graffiti hole‬‏

Our idea is meant to create a visual reminder for cyclists or distracted pedestrians using a visual effect on the floor, that catches the eye better than a red light.

Using a projector requires dark surroundings, therefore there's a difficulty of using this solution during daytime. This problem may be solved through further research in optics.

Coopeartion with government

In order to set up such a device at every crossroad, we need authorization from the local government. As a result, it can not only prevent accidents but also becomes a local characteristic.

Research relevant to our project:

Optics knowledge

As the picture shows, when the distance between the object, also as the light source, and the convex lens is between double focal length and focal length, light from the object will be refracted and converge together. As a result, a magnified real image can be formed upside down at the other side of the lens. If a screen is placed in the plane of a real image the image will generally become visible on the screen.

This is a simplified model of our example. It can project the picture upside down on the screen. The picture printed on the paper act as a filter. Light goes through different regions on the picture has its specific color respectively. Then, light goes through the convex lens and got refracted. As the theory mentioned above, the light can be received by a screen and thus the picture can be projected upside down on the screen.

The psychology of Attention

In cognitive psychology, there are at least two models which describe how visual attention operates. These models may be considered loosely as metaphors which are used to describe internal processes and to generate hypotheses that are falsifiable. Visual attention is thought to operate as a two-stage process.[6] In the first stage, attention is distributed uniformly over the external visual scene and processing of information is performed in parallel. In the second stage, attention is concentrated on a specific area of the visual scene (i.e., it is focused), and processing is performed in a serial fashion.

The first of these models to appear in the literature is the spotlight model. The term "spotlight" was inspired by the work of William James, who described attention as having a focus, a margin, and a fringe.

The second model is called the zoom-lens model and was first introduced in 1986. This model inherits all properties of the spotlight model (i.e., the focus, the fringe, and the margin), but it has the added property of changing in size. This size-change mechanism was inspired by the zoom lens one might find on a camera, and any change in size can be described by a trade-off in the efficiency of processing. The zoom-lens of attention can be described in terms of an inverse trade-off between the size of focus and the efficiency of processing: because attentional resources are assumed to be fixed, then it follows that the larger the focus is, the slower processing will be of that region of the visual scene, since this fixed resource will be distributed over a larger area.

See more on

Distract driving

Distracted driving refers to the act of driving while engaging in other activities which distract the driver's attention away from the road. Distractions are shown to compromise the safety of the driver, passengers, pedestrians, and people in other vehicles.

Cell phone use while behind the wheel is one of the common forms of distracted driving. According to the United States Department of Transportation, "texting while driving creates a crash risk 23 times higher than driving while not distracted." Studies and polls regularly find that over 30% of United States drivers had recently texted and driven. Distracted driving is particularly common among, but not exclusive to, younger drivers.

Brain activity without distractions

The somatosensory association, parietal and visual cortices are not significantly activated during simple driving tasks, like driving straight or making a right-hand turn. A left turn with no oncoming traffic presents a little more activation in the premotor cortex, somatosensory area, visual and parietal cortices, as well as the cerebellum. When oncoming traffic is introduced while trying to make a left-hand turn, there is a significant activation multiple bilateral regions in the mid-posterior brain, which includes motor and premotor areas, visual, parietal, and somatosensory regions, and the cerebellum.

Brain activity with distractions

When something as simple as answering general knowledge true-or-false questions is introduced as a distraction to the driver, the brain activity is increased during both straight driving and when turning left with the presence of oncoming traffic. When just driving straight, which showed very little brain activation without distraction, is paired with answering simple questions, there is a significant increase in brain activity in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex bilaterally, along with the auditory cortex and parietal lobes. There was also decreased activation in occipital-visual regions of the brain.

Driving ability

The areas of the brain that have decreased activation during a moment of multitasking are areas of spatial processing and spatial attention. Because of this, it is important for drivers to focus on only the task at hand, driving. Even though driving becomes a primary cognitive function, when drivers are distracted (e.g.on their cell phones, talking to passengers, or fiddling with the radio), the areas of the brain that need to be activated to safely operate the vehicle are not.

See more on


For additional references, we recommend as following:

[1] Kruszyna M, Mackiewicz P, Szydlo A. Influence of Pedestrians’ Entry Process on Pedestrian Delays at Signal-Controlled Crosswalks[J]. Journal of Transportation Engineering, 2006, 132(11):855-861.

[2] GB/T 7714 Nicolas A, Kuperman M, Ibanez S, et al. Mechanical response of dense pedestrian crowds to the crossing of intruders[J]. 2018.

[3] Randall D Knight, Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics (4th Edition) [M]. 2018

[4] Allan R Hambley, Electrical Engineering: Principles & Applications (7th Edition) [M]. 2017

[5] Richard Budynas, Richard G Budynas, Keith Nisbett, Shigley's Mechanical Engineering Design (10th edition) [M]. 2019


How it's done: 

Use of projectors:

At first, we thought about handheld projector- a small "pocket" projector that rquires a connection to a computer of sort. 

However, it seems to be a rather expensive choice. We could also settle for a cheaper, lower-tech option, such as an old-fashioned slide projector.

slide projector is an opto-mechanical device for showing photographic slides.

A projector has four main elements:

  • electric incandescent light bulb or other light source (usually fan-cooled)
  • reflector and "condensing" lens to direct the light to the slide
  • slide holder
  • focusing lens

Such a projector can be easily made with cheap materials:

Those projectors may be installed on existing traffic lights meant for pedestrians, and be powered by the same power source. The image will be projected to the sidewalk, ahead of the actual crossing.

The advantage of using a projector is the ability the change the images from time to time, so that they are not expected.

What's more, the projector can still be functional during the daytime. Pictures can still be projected clearly if there is a shade on the ground. So, setting up the projector near trees or shelters can be a perfect choice. Incident angle also needs to be considered to ensure that the picture always stays inside the shade.

Our solution is an example for Incremental innovation - improves and refines the performance of existing products through solutions that use knowledge and technology already available in the market.

This idea is innovative in that the device which would project an image to draw pedestrians’ attention and thus prevent them from crossing the street when a red light is on apply visual illusion, which can be not only very interesting but also unprecedented as protection. It is an innovative combination of technology and art design.

Provide an answer by clicking on "Map" and then on "Add an Answer".

Results, Analysis and Discussion

1.  Li Yueqing (14.08.2019 pm 11.01.20)
Peer assessment from Yueqing Li

Great design! First, the problem is true in daily life. It is general but practical enough to stimulate innovative thinking of students. The project is well-written and I really appreciate the schedule you set for students so that they could arrange their time better.

As for the example product you put forward, I think it is feasible but maybe the images projected on the ground may frighten people who suffer from heart disease and cause serious problems. 

2.  Pan Yanzhou (15.08.2019 pm 01.00.49)
Peer assesment from Yanzhou Pan

About the PBL design

This PBL is based on a real-life problem. How to make the rode safer is a quite general question so students can come up with lots of solutions, which is great. It indeed can help students to learn. However, this problem can be a challenge for students since it has been studied for many years. It’s hard for students to find innovative and practical methods.


About the example provided

First I have to say that using the light is a quite innovative idea. It can remind pedestrian to be more careful. One problem is that it seems to be a non-profit product, unsuitable for a startup company to produce. I also noticed that there already excited similar methods (put lights on the ground). You should do more market research and see how your design can beat others.

3.  Li Yueqing (18.08.2019 am 09.40.40)
peer assessment from Weizhuojia Peng

I'm Weizhuojia Peng, here's my comments.

As for the PBL design, the design is great. The question comes from real world and is closely related to everyone's daily life. This question can well stimulate students' creativity. And your guidelines and expectations are clear enough to guide students complete the task.

As for the example product, the product is creative and the price of the product is not expensive so that it can be put into use in large quantities. However, I think the utility is limited. Firstly, cyclists and pedestrians could be alarmed by the sudden visual effect which may create dangers. Secondly, after the product is put into use for a period of time, cyclists and pedestrians may get used to this visual effect, so the warning to cyclists and pedestrians is weakened.

4.  Li Yueqing (18.08.2019 am 09.48.57)
peer assessment from Weixiao Li

I'm Weixiao Li, here's my comments.

About the PBL assignment
Traffic accidents have always been a matter of great concern to people, so this PBL assignment is very close to the real world and makes a lot of sense. On this issue, students can give full play to their innovative power and come up with a variety of solutions. At the same time, the problem of traffic accidents has been studied for many years, and there are also huge enough markets for students to investigate.

About the example
The use of projectors to alert pedestrians and cyclists is a very innovative solution. This technology is available and requires no additional cost to develop. The use of the ground as a projection screen can also effectively reduce costs. However, the effect of the projection is not very good during the day, and the effect of the reminder may not be great when people get used to it.

History of edits
Edited BY: Sapyr Sebaoun Edit Date: 2019-08-19 08:46:44
Edited BY: Sapyr Sebaoun Edit Date: 2019-08-18 08:02:05
Edited BY: Sapyr Sebaoun Edit Date: 2019-08-18 07:13:58
Edited BY: Sapyr Sebaoun Edit Date: 2019-08-14 17:05:27
Edited BY: Sapyr Sebaoun Edit Date: 2019-08-14 12:19:07
Edited BY: Sapyr Sebaoun Edit Date: 2019-08-13 06:51:42
More Interactive Questions that might interest you In Other