I was part of a design team responsible for the AutoSock in my role as Senior Industrial Designer and Partner at Hareide Designmill. Hareide Designmill
were approached by the inventor of Autosock in 2001. Autosock
is a patented textile cover to put on the wheels in emergency situations instead of snow chains. On modern cars its sometimes very hard to fit snow chains because of the limited distance between the wheel and the fender, and they also sometimes break or fall of with devastating effect on the car. At the time we started working with Autosock we did a test run with the socks on the front wheels of Passat. We went faster than the advised max speed of 50 km/h, and around 90 or 100 they simply fell of the wheels with no damage to the car.
I was in charge of the project from our side and the concept was very much defined when we got involved. We focused on the establishing the design identity through the consistent product design and distinctive use of color and logo. We also focused on the whole user experience; User manual, gloves, packaging and so on. A very interesting project to be involved in, not so much actual design work, more about providing careful guidance and advice.
From a commercial point of view, they have also been very successful, the last thing I've noticed is that Jaguar (among others) is offering the Autosock as an approved part of their accessory range.