Travel Dog, a public transportation pet carrier rental service concept conceived by Taipei Tech industrial design students, won honorable mention in 2019 Red Dot Award: Design Concept. The student trio—Peng Yicheng, Tong Minru, and Xiao Weijie—came up with the idea based on their own experience of needing to own pet carriers of various sizes in order to bring their dogs to ride in public transportation.
Currently, each of the rail transportation systems in Taiwan, including Taiwan Rail, Taiwan High Speed Rail, Taipei Metro, and Kaohsing Metro, has different regulations on the size of pet carrier. This difference in size regulations creates a unique problem for pet owners who need to carry their pets and transfer between these different systems to get to their destination.
Travel Dog aims to solve this problem by introducing pet carrier rental stations to be placed in train stations. Each station has pet carriers of three sizes, suitable for small-, mid-, and large-size pets. Pet owners can reserve a pet carrier through an app on their phone and pick up the pet carrier by scanning a QR code on site. To return, pet owners only need to fold up the carrier and put it back to the rental station. Upon return, the rental station automatically cleans and sterilizes the carrier. A team of maintainers will also periodically inspects each rental station to do overall sterilization and replace carriers.
The design team believe Travel Dog will bring great convenience for pet owners and ensure the safety of both pets and passengers. Through the safety and convenience that Travel Dog brings, the team also aims to make more places pet-friendly.
Huang Meng-Fan, Taipei Tech Industrial Design Department lecturer and adviser to the design team, says carrying pets in public transportation is a less-explored design area. Travel Dog is a complete solution that involves logistics, app design, and product design. They are now looking into securing potential partners to bring the concept into reality.
Red Dot Award: Design Concept was established in 2005 and awards design visions and concepts. There are 4,218 entries from forty-eight countries submitted for review in 2019, and Travel Dog was accorded an honorable mention. The design team received the award in Singapore on September 25, and their design concept is also exhibited in the Red Dot Design Museum Singapore.