Nokia Bell Labs Road Safety System

Nokia Bell Labs continues to push the technological limits of what is possible. Nokia needed help creating an engaging promotional showcase of it's Low Latency Driving network to the world at Mobile World Congress.



Showcase Nokia's Smart driving network technology at mobile world Congress. Nokia's engineering team had created handmade prototypes but there was no real world network. Since the network would help the drivers negotiate physical space, we pitched them the idea of a physical scale model to educate and demonstrate the value of the Nokia network..



2 Designers

1 Engineer

Client/Owner: Nokia team

Tesla smart sensor scanning patterns

Tesla smart sensor scanning patterns

Google's self-driving car

Google's self-driving car


Brand: our team studied Nokia's conference brand guidelines to assure our solution fit nicely inside the larger Nokia brand palette.

Technology: we studied smart and self-driving cars (Google, Uber, Tesla) along with integrated driving networks works (IBM, Ericsson, Juniper) to understand how they marketed themselves as future technology. 

User data: we collected data and conducted interviews with MWC conference attendees to learn habits and sentiments on trade show booth experiences and how people engage with them.



Go to the source: Nokia had some really great videos, which were dealing with very similar content, so we had a leg up for brand-approved style and tone.

Animation: simplicity and cleanliness ruled the roost for explainer videos in future technology. There was a good amount of Minority Report aesthetic, but that wouldn't work for Nokia.


Creation: Storyboards

We created a scenario which would demonstrate the safety and efficiency of the Nokia network by simulating a traffic accident 3 different ways: normal driving, smart cars, and smart cars plus the Nokia Low Latency Driving network. Each scenario would be handled slightly differently guiding the viewer to feel claustrophobic and nervous in the first two scenarios and confident and aware in the third. (I coined the term "god mode" where the Nokia network allows drives to "see through walls and around corners".)

We created paneled storyboards to show the client how the mechanics of the video would function, deal with feasability issues, and discuss some of the larger visual design requirements.


Creation: Design exploration

Cognitive load: from the conversations and data we collected we found that conferences are generally chaotic, so our solution needed to be something that was extremely easy to digest.

Animation: we used an isometric animation and illustration style to adhere to Nokia's brand guidelines of a "clean" aesthetic and make sure the animation felt play fall while dealing with a heavy subject matter such as traffic safety. 

Building: our design and engineering team work together to build and test a TV sized touch interface, which would be easy for the installation moderator to use while conducting conversations with multiple conference attendees. 


Installation design

Physical plus digital: at first we had hoped to make a completely moving, physical model but the timeline didn't permit. We instead used sensors built into a physical model with a digital interface that would tell the story of Nokia's network while allowing users to play with the installation. There would be two modes, one featuring a narrative story line mode and another featuring an interactive/play mode. 


Physical model

That's cool!


password: video


A scale model of a city intersection which blends physical sensor technology and digital interface interaction to create a narrative and interactive conference experience. 

Video 1

The accident scenario with no technological assistance. (ouch!)

password: video

Video 2

The accident scenario with smart/scanning cars. (getting better...)

password: video

Video 3

The accident scenario with Nokia's Low Latency Driving network. (everyone is safe... phewwwww)



Unfortunately, Nokia's engineering team fell behind on their timeline and the project was sidelined for Mobile World Congress. We were told it would see the light of day in another environment but as far as we know that never happened. 😞