Easy-to-Load Roof Rack

 

I led an innovation initiative at Chrysler to solve an age-old problem: make it easier to put stuff on a roof. Ethnographic research, design thinking workshops, ideation, affinitization, rapid prototyping and lots of repetition yielded the final designs above. an Invention Development Record (IDR) was submitted and an exhaustive prior art search was conducted, to ensure the design was not infringing upon any patents. I received the Design Innovation in Feature Planning award from the Senior Vice President of Engineering. The final roof rack design was debuted as a MOPAR option for the 2014 Jeep Cherokee and 2014 Fiat 500L. The all-new 2016 Fiat 500X also has the easy-to-load roof rack as an option. It was a rewarding to have a hand in bringing a rough idea to a tangible consumer product that people are using around the world today. Granted, I quickly realized that even innovation teams within large companies have a difficult time delivering final products outrageously different from what's currently available on the market.