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Jeane is a force-feedback steering wheel cover that tells you how to get to your destination while preventing traffic jams. Read more

35
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$4,533
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on May 22, 2014.

Jeane is a force-feedback steering wheel cover that tells you how to get to your destination while preventing traffic jams.

About this project

Jeane comes with a solar charger and app for iOS 7 and Android 4.3
Jeane comes with a solar charger and app for iOS 7 and Android 4.3

Jeane enables you to navigate with your hands and keep your eyes on the road:

According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, looking at your phone or GPS unit while driving increases your chances of getting into an accident by 200%. With Jeane, you no longer need to look at a screen to know where you are going. Jeane's vibrating motors buzz to let you know which way to turn. Jeane's app gives you audio and visual feedback as well, if you'd like it!

Force-feedback frees your eyes and helps you enjoy the ride!
Force-feedback frees your eyes and helps you enjoy the ride!

 How does it work?

Jeane's motors vibrate sequentially in the direction of your upcoming turn. Jeane can be mounted at any angle, and will adapt accordingly. 

All First Movers and Early Adopters get priority access to Jeane's app for iOS and Android, featuring turn-by-turn directions provided by the Google Directions API.

Use Jeane to make and receive phone calls without taking your hands off of the steering wheel:

This photo was taken using Jeane!
This photo was taken using Jeane!

Jeane connects to your phone using Bluetooth LE, and acts as a general-purpose remote control. Use Jeane to active Siri on your iPhone or Speech Recognition on Android.

Jeane's vibrating motors give you turn-by-turn directions, so you never need to let go of the steering wheel!
Jeane's vibrating motors give you turn-by-turn directions, so you never need to let go of the steering wheel!

Two Jeanes can help each other save fuel and stay out of car accidents:

Jeane uses Bluetooth LE to communicate with other Jeanes, within a 50 foot range, and transmit acceleration data between drivers.

By sensing the acceleration of another Jeane user, you can synchronize with that user. Two drivers are in sync when they accelerate or brake the same amount at the same time. 

When following another Jeane, your Jeane vibrates to tell you when the other user is slowing down or speeding up. Jeane's feedback can cut your reaction time down from seconds to milliseconds.

Rear-endings account for 28% of all car accidents in the U.S. Two drivers using Jeane can always keep a safe distance from each other and prevent rear-endings from occurring.

In 2012, Project SARTRE, an academic investigation into the benefits of autonomous vehicle platooning, demonstrated that synchronizing the movements of just 4 cars can increase the group's fuel efficiency by 15% or more (a savings of 50 cents per gallon). Platooning is a term for computer controlled "slipstream" driving. With Jeane you can lead a fuel-saving caravan.

When paired with two other Jeanes, your Jeane vibrates to tell you when the lead car is slowing down or speeding up.

Jeane knows how to prevent traffic jams
Jeane knows how to prevent traffic jams

Three or more Jeanes can prevent traffic jams:

Each year, the average US commuter loses 38 hours in traffic jams. In the worst cases, drivers lose 60+ hours in traffic jams. That's upwards of one workweek! In terms of fuel, this amounts to 2.9 billion gallons of gas wasted in traffic jams, per year. According to the Texas Transportation Institute, commuters lose $818 a year sitting in traffic. In other words, the average US commuter loses one week of paid vacation a year, sitting in traffic. The situation is much worse in other parts of the world

How Traffic Jams Work: 

If you've ever done "The Wave", you already know how traffic jams work: 

The Wave involves standing up and sitting down at a certain rate, as people around you do the same, to create a wave effect throughout a crowd. When you're part of the Wave, it can be quite fun, because everyone is trying to make something awesome happen together, at the same time.

The Navy Seals demonstrating The Wave
The Navy Seals demonstrating The Wave

Traffic Jams are caused by drivers who are creating waves unintentionally

Drivers end up creating waves when they aren't able to maintain a constant distance between themselves and the car in front of them. In 2008, researchers at Nagoya University performed a demonstration to show how difficult it is for drivers to maintain a constant distance between each other. Watch how easy it is for waves to form:

Jeane helps you prevent traffic jams using synchronization:

Traffic jam waves are sustained by our naturally slow reaction times, and our limited ability to measure motion using our eyes. 

Jeane helps you react more quickly by measuring others' motion and translating that motion into meaningful vibrations.

Jeane prevents traffic waves from occurring in the first place
Jeane prevents traffic waves from occurring in the first place

 When three or more Jeanes are paired, your Jeane vibrates to tell you when you're slowing down or speeding up more sharply than the other users. 

This keeps the group in sync and aware of any sudden movements that could cause a traffic jam.

Using Jeane, you can sense nearby drivers' acceleration and braking (up to 9 drivers simultaneously), and adjust your driving to prevent traffic jams.

Without Jeane, synchronization is best left to self-driving cars: 

Currently, the only cars capable of synchronization are self-driving cars. 

Google's self-driving car in action
Google's self-driving car in action

The current cost of Google's autonomous car is $300,000, mostly due to the cost of the sensors used. Jeane gives you the ability to synchronize at a fraction of the cost of a self-driving car.

According to a study conducted by IHS Automotive it will take until 2050 for all cars to become self-driving cars. 

If we wait for everyone to buy a self-driving car, it could take 35 years until traffic jams are eliminated! 

With your help, Jeane will be available for retail sale in the next 2 years.

Jeane is an inexpensive way to solve an expensive problem
Jeane is an inexpensive way to solve an expensive problem

As a Backer, you are supporting Jeane's first production run: 

All of Jeane's components are already mass-manufactured, from the steering wheel cover down to the electronics. Once the campaign is complete, components will be ordered, and assembly will begin. 

Here are the production tasks:

And here's a tentative production schedule:

Awesome backers deserve awesome rewards:

Early Adopters and First Movers get Jeane in one of three Kickstarter exclusive colors:

Blue, Red and Silver Jeanes will only be available on Kickstarter
Blue, Red and Silver Jeanes will only be available on Kickstarter

 All backers receiving a Jeane will also receive a solar charger, so you can charge Jeane between trips:

The solar charger comes with a USB-to-MiniUSB cable
The solar charger comes with a USB-to-MiniUSB cable

All backers get priority access to Jeane's future features (currently in development), including:

  • Oversteer/Understeer Corrective Assistance
  • Lane Drift/Drowsiness Assistance

Every backer counts: 

Even if you aren't ready to get Jeane, a one dollar pledge will get you a "I <3 Jeane" sticker. Perfect for laptops, cars, or wherever!

Stickers for everyone!
Stickers for everyone!

Tech Specs:

  • Fits Steering Wheels up to 15 inches in diameter
  • Embedded LiPo Battery Pack enables 8 hours of continuous usage.
  • 5 touch sensitive inputs.
  • Chargeable through embedded Mini-USB port
  • High sensitivity 3-axis IMU for motion sensing
  • 5 force-feedback outputs
  • Bluetooth Low-Energy Radio: Maximum range of 50 feet (in dense traffic) to 150 feet (light traffic); approximately 4-12 car lengths.
  • Solar Charger with 2500 mAh LiPo Battery included

Who am I?

Proud Member of the Cape Cod Makers!
Proud Member of the Cape Cod Makers!
                                       

Hi everyone, I'm Arjun, the inventor of Jeane. Jeane is the culmination of five years of research and development, all done in my spare time. During the day I work on autonomous submarines, and at night I work on Jeane. With your help, I can begin working on Jeane full-time. 

I have been building robots since 2005, and have six years of hands-on experience with mechanical, electrical, and software systems of my own creation. I graduated from the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in 2013, with an Engineering degree and a concentration in Robotics. I have a large support network of engineers, designers, professors, and business-people, who have guided me over the past five years, and will continue to support me through Jeane's first production run. With your support I will be able to start mass-manufacturing Jeane, grow my engineering team, and bring this solution to every driver on the road. I look forward to building Jeane for you, and hope you're just as excited as I am!

Jeane recently made a live appearance at the Cape Cod Maker Faire:

The Maker Faire was an awesome event! Over 800 people attended, many of whom gave Jeane positive feedback. Click through the image below to read more about the Faire!

Click here to read my update about the Faire!
Click here to read my update about the Faire!

Jeane and I recently visited Las Vegas to train for extreme situations:

Check out Update #2!
Check out Update #2!

Thank you for your support!!

Risks and challenges

Mass Adoption:
Although Jeane can help each of us navigate safely, Jeane's effect on the overall traffic environment is dependent on mass-adoption. That's why I'm here on Kickstarter: to get you and your friends involved in making Jeane happen! I am working on corporate partnerships to further Jeane's usage in metropolitan areas, where traffic is the worst.

Scaling Manufacturing:
Jeane's manufacturing process involves embedding electronics into a steering wheel cover. Although I have built multiple versions and copies of Jeane on my own, mass-manufacturing involves coordination with manufacturers, assemblers, and fulfillment centers. I am in active negotiations with two fulfillment companies, and have timed Jeane's production conservatively to account for any uncertainty in the timely completion of assembly and fulfillment. I am also in active communications with multiple manufacturing consultancy firms, that have been behind a number of successful mass-manufactured consumer electronics products, and plan to use their expertise to ensure Jeane is built to the highest quality standards.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Jeane will most likely cost $500 when it is available for retail sale. All Multiplayer backers will be able to purchase Jeane using their store credit, for $250 per Jeane.

    Last updated:
  • You can switch between modes by twisting your wrist back and forth. The motion is similar to revving a the throttle on a motorcycle!

    Last updated:
  • Jeane does not control your car for you! Jeane gives you relevant information that helps you control your car better. It is up to you to use Jeane's feedback wisely :)

    Last updated:
  • Jeane will vibrate in a specific pattern to indicate that another Jeane is within range. If you'd like to switch to paired mode, simply twist your wrist back and forth once.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more
    About $1.00 USD

    16 backers

    Thank you! You get a "I <3 Jeane" Sticker for supporting this project!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more
    About $25 USD

    9 backers

    A personalized video "Thank you" note from me, and 5 "I <3 Jeane" Stickers!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more
    About $350 USD

    3 backers

    Early Adopters: You get Jeane (in Red, Blue or Silver), the Solar Charger, and a "I <3 Jeane" Sticker, in April 2015.

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    Ships to: Only United States
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more
    About $400 USD

    5 backers Limited (95 left of 100)

    First Movers: You get Jeane (in Red, Blue or Silver), the Solar Charger, and a "I <3 Jeane" Sticker, in October 2014. Be the first to drive smarter, using Jeane.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more
    About $1,000 USD

    1 backer

    Multiplayer: You get Jeane (in Red, Blue or Silver), the Solar Charger, and a "I <3 Jeane" Sticker, in April 2015. You also get a $500 credit in the Jeane.us Store (going live October 2014), towards future purchases of Jeane for your friends and family.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000
    About $10,000 USD

    0 backers

    Vegas Racing Experience: Let's test Jeane at the track together! You and a friend get two round trip tickets and a two night stay in Las Vegas, NV. We will spend a day at a racetrack, practicing extreme maneuvers using Jeane. You and your friend each get Jeane (in Red, Blue or Silver), the Solar Charger, and a "I <3 Jeane" Sticker. Lodging, Travel, and Racing expenses included.

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Funding period

- (30 days)