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HOPR’S VEHICLE DOCKING STATION

By Jeremy Nashed | July 30, 2021

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This product was developed as a street-safe station for managing HOPR’s bike and scooter rideshare fleet in Rochester, NY. The modular design allows the station to be properly anchored and provides compatibility for varying numbers of bikes, scooter, signage. This product was designed and optimized for economic steel fabrication. Our team developed the product concept, 3D CAD models, and production files. We worked closely with the production partner to accommodate their capabilities.

HOPR reached out to Emergnt in March of 2021 with a need for a new docking station for their upcoming launch in Rochester, NY. Unlike their current stations, the new product would need to accommodate traditional bicycles, e-bikes, and scooters.

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Concept Art for the new station showed how tall and short formed barstock racks could mount on uniform baseplates for a modular and aesthetic design.

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DEFINING REQUIREMENTS

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Renderings from the 3D CAD Models for the new docking station.

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We met with HOPR’s leadership to identify the basic requirements for the new project. We learned that HOPR wanted to develop a station that meets these criteria:

      • Provides docking for Bikes and Scooters.
      • Intuitively directs the user on how stow vehicle
      • Rigidly secures vehicle with features for locking
      • Space efficiency (no more than six feet deep)
      • Modularity (units connecting in series)
      • Appealing design
      • Durability in harsh environments
      • Safety
      • Space for signage and ads
      • Provides features for anchoring
      • Resists collecting water or debris
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DESIGN PROCESS FROM IDEA TO THE PROTOTYPE

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From these requirements, our Concept Design team developed a unique vision for the product involving steel barstock formed into a stadium-shaped “hoop”. Uniform baseplates- connected in series – support either taller “scooter hoops” or shorter “bicycle hoops”. The scooter hoops featured a plastic bay within which the scooter’s steering column could rest, while the bicycle hoops could surround the bike’s rear wheel and provide a column for the bike lock. A half-length base plate would support a sign.

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With Concept Design approved by the client, the project proceeded into Emergnt’s virtual CAD Lab for detailed 3D CAD Modeling. Emergnt worked with HOPR to collect data about their vehicle fleet and carefully design the new station for seamless integration with the bikes and scooters.

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Our Mechanical Engineers developed unique solutions to the challenges presented by design. These challenges included stability, modularity, intuitive usability, and signage.

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With initial designs completed just weeks after the project kickoff, Emergnt continued to support the project by providing Production Sourcing and Support. Our team sourced production partners for every component and worked closely with those partners to accommodate their capability and ensure low production costs.

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SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

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The city of Rochester requested that we maximize space efficiency of the station and preserve sidewalk real-estate. A sufficiently wide base plate was spec’d to counter the innate tippability of the tall racks. To minimize the effect of this design choice on the station’s footprint, a compound, eccentric wheel cutout was developed. This geometry positioned the long bicycles to completely engulf the footprint of the baseplate, maximizing sidewalk space while ensuring the station stood securely.

A ramp feature was added to the baseplate to ensure users intuitively park their vehicles in the correct direction. The baseplates utilized a simple welded tongue to connect in series. Male and Female “end caps” were designed to terminate a series and keep debris from slipping underneath the plates. A sign was designed to match the aesthetic of the “hoops” along with a half-length baseplate to support it. The sign was design to be rotated on a central screw to multiple orientations, maximizing visibility in different urban locations.

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“[Emergnt] met all the challenges along the way, and the result is a great example of how design and function can live in harmony.”

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FINALIZING AND RESULTS

As manufacturing challenges were uncovered and resolved, the design was altered in small ways to best fit manufacturing capabilities and the client’s budget. I personally made a trip to the production facility to inspect the prototype and ensure everything would be completed properly.

In mid-July, just four months after HOPR first engaged with Emergnt, HOPR began installing their new docking stations in Rochester. The finished product, made from powder-coated, cold-rolled steel, looks sleek and elegant. While these stations were designed specifically for the needs of Rochester, we believe other cities will find them highly attractive. This design, which now belongs to HOPR, will hopefully help them win over new cities for an organized, beautiful, convenient, and fun transportation method.

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Founder & Lead Engineer

A product design expert, Jeremy cultivated his skills working in manufacturing and rapid prototyping facilities. His design experience ranges from consumer products to government contracting, and he is known for end-to-end support on every project.

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology.

 

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