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Contactless Bus Designed for COVID-19 Pandemic Age

A New Public Transportation Design Concept aims to offer passengers confidence to take bus ride by minimizing contact, using anti-microbial fabric & installing self-sanitizing handles.

The Futurebus,” designed by a Inter-national team that has Northwestern University college student Ryan Teo, alters the way passengers mount and off the bus by combining all ingresses & egresses into one large door . this enables riders to flow in and out freely without contact.

The design won the 1st prize within the FourC Challenge, Inter-national design competition sponsored by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Design. The competition was held entirely online, allowing the continuity of worldwide experiences for college students in an age where COVID-19 has placed heavy restrictions on travel & interaction.

“We got our inspiration from the dandelion flower,” said Ryan Teo, who studies product design, engineering & anthropology as a part of the McCormick Integrated Engineering Studies Program. “The dandelion opens its petals widely, allowing its seeds to be dispersed freely. We wanted to offer passengers that very same freedom of movement to min. contact.”

The team also alternated seating direction to give more privacy and made use of affordable, copper-infused-fabric known to reduce pathogens.

Handles presented another design opportunity for the team. The new handles have a stainless-steel tube covered by a disposable wrapping . whenever the bus stops, the handle will make a slow 360-degree rotation, allowing the whole surface of the tube to be sterilized by a 254 nanometer UV light strip on the rear of the handle.

The prize-winning team also included students from Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University & Harvard University graduate school of Design.

Forty teams of contestants from 52 colleges & universities round the world completed 6 innovative challenges in 24 hours, including in areas of team building, problem solving & prototype production.

Global Engagement During A Time Of Crisis

“A lot folks recognize Chicago as a global-center of architectural innovation but we may haven’t reached that without the collaboration that happened in response to the Great Chicago Fire,” said John Hartman, clinical professor within the Segal Design Institute and also a judge within the competition.

He gave a keynote speech emphasizing that challenging events, like the pandemic, could help create previously unimagined innovations.

“Collaboration during these times can speed up the decision-making process and force us to use methods and approaches directly affecting the matter , often flattening the approval chain of command,” he added.

Hartman also emphasized the necessity for global engagement.

“We need to keep promoting the worth-of-global engagement for our students & encourage them to hunt out diverse perspectives as they assist solve the challenging problems facing our planet,” he said.

Video On Future Contactless Bus