brakepack by artefact solves the failed dialogue between cyclists and motorists
brakepack by artefact solves the failed dialogue between cyclists and motorists
may 14, 2015

brakepack by artefact solves the failed dialogue between cyclists and motorists

brakepack by artefact solves the failed dialogue between cyclists and motorists
all images courtesy of artefact





in many major cities there is a rise in commuting by bike, however this form of transportation has raised the amount of automobile related cycling fatalities and injuries. many of them happening at night or in poor visibility. reflectors, blinking lights, and even reflective vests and jackets aren’t ideal solutions. the accessories can either be stolen, cluttering, and not very stylish. ‘brakepack’ by artefact is trying to solve the failed communication between the motorist and the cyclist by using integrated turn signals and brake lights. 

‘brakepack’ focuses on visibility for city motorists



artefact designers tucker spofford, nick alto, sam baker, and benoit collette constructed  a straightforward prototype that embraces RGB LED lighting and a smartphone app, to help cyclists convey exactly where they’re going, in a familiar way any motorist can understand. the bag connects using bluetooth low energy to a companion app, to provide automatic signaling without the rider losing focus on the road. there are also capacitive touch controls on the shoulder straps for riders who don’t have smartphones. 


videos courtesy of artefact



‘brakepack’ is made of ‘cordura’ nylon and is capable of having the lights and batteries removed for easy cleaning. it charges through a practical wall mounted wireless charger. the design isn’t the only LED-rigged cyclist bag — see designboom’s story on the similar ‘seil bag’ by leemyungsu design lab — but it is an indication of the development of more intuitive safety devices for bikers and improved communication between rider and driver.  

‘brakepack’ comes with a smartphone app



the app automatically communicates the signals to the bag


‘brakepack’ has a series of preloaded signals 


the backpack comes with a wall anchor that incorporates wireless charging 






via fastcodesign

  • I like the idea behind this idea to improve the communication between the cyclist and motorist. It is nice to see the prototype working. First of all I was wondering how it works, because it looks like the signals are based on a route you choose. This would be far from ideal. What happens if you decide to take a detour/short cut somewhere. To be honest I found the signals of this backpack more unclear than just indicating with your arms and normal lights. I am not sure if this will help with the communication or just make it more difficult. I personally would focus on making the current symbols more visible. For example an extra light on your arm to indicate the turn, so your arm is better visible.
    I do like the project, but just wanted to share my thoughts 🙂 Good luck.

  • This is amazing but wouldn’t bluetooth manual control blinkers be amazing as well?!

  • The problem with directional lights on bike is that the separation distance between the L & R light is often so very small compared to a car, it’ll probably end up being more confusing to the drivers. The arrows are almost flat… .Make the arrow angle sharper and more obvious would help.


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