“Pardon me, sir. Would you be so kind as to not crash into me?”
Bicycles and cars co-mingling in the streets of major UK cities is a pretty common sight, so it makes sense that companies like Jaguar Land Rover have been researching ways to increase driver awareness of cyclist positions and reduce accidents.
Dubbed “bike Sense,” the safety system monitors all areas surround the car with sensors that can distinguish pedestrians from bicyclist and motorbike riders. Once it senses a bike rider, the system then makes the driver aware of their position with a series of lights, sound, and haptic feedback in different areas of the cabin.
Bike Sense will help a driver understand where the rider is in relation to the car by ringing a bike bell or honking a motorcycle horn from the car’s speaker system. This is chosen over a generic alert tone so that the driver’s brain instantly recognizes the situation without having to process what the alert is in relation ton.
If a bike is overtaking the car, haptic feedback “taps” the driver on the corresponding shoulder to alert them to look towards the correct side of the car. An overlaying matrix of LED lights will then illuminate parts of the interior in amber and red to indicate the movement of the passing cyclist.
Bike Sense will also work to keep people exiting parked cars from taking out passing bikes with an open car door. When parked, the system continues to sense if anything is coming, warning with lights and noises but also vibrates and buzzes the door handle.
While it all sounds nice, JLR haven’t revealed how this system would distinguish the hazards or shown any prototypical system that’s being tested, but it sounds like an excellent start to reducing the 19,000 or so fatal car and bike incidents the UK that happen each year.