New York’s ‘Citi Bikes’ are getting their own laser projection lights

Remember the Blaze Laserlight for cyclists that projects an image of a bicycle onto the road ahead during a ride?

The London-based startup has just struck a deal with the operator of New York City’s bike sharing scheme – Citi Bike – to equip several hundred of its bikes with the light as part of an ongoing commitment to safer cycling on the streets of the Big Apple.

The Laserlight gives road users early warning of a cyclist’s presence by projecting the image of a bicycle onto the road around six meters ahead of the rider. It also helps to flag up the approaching cyclist to pedestrians who’re about to cross the street, and its super-bright LEDs enable it to function as a regular front light, as well.

“Bike share is an extremely safe way to get around, and we are proud to work with Blaze to welcome every rider to Citi Bike while helping our city get ever closer to our Vision Zero goals [to end traffic deaths and injuries on the city’s streets],” said Jay Walder, president and CEO of Motivate, operators of the Citi Bike program.

Emily Brooke, founder and CEO of Blaze, said the version of Laserlight made especially for Citi Bikes includes “improved front lighting and connectivity, making cycling with a Citi Bike even safer and more enjoyable.”

New York City’s bike-sharing scheme already enjoys an exemplary safety record, with few serious injuries and no deaths in the nearly 37 million rides taken since the system’s launch in 2013. It’s hoped the Laserlight will help to increase the confidence of current users while at the same time persuade new riders to try out the bike-sharing scheme.

The trial will see up to 250 Citi Bikes fitted with a Laserlight by mid-March, with a wider rollout expected should it prove successful.

Brooke created the Laserlight in 2011 during her final year on a design course in 2011. More than 800 Kickstarter backers pledged £55,000 ($67,000) toward the end of 2012, with the light now selling to cyclists across 60 countries.

The device is fully waterproof, offers around 13 hours of use on a single charge, and offers two modes: flash and constant. Cyclists in the U.S. can buy the Laserlight for $200.

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