Jaguar, Land Rover “Bike Sense” Is Genius


Whether your bike, scooter, moped or motorcycle is powered by gas, electric, you, or chicken manure the hazards of the road are real, and somewhat terrifying.  Commuting 20 miles a day for 15 years on the streets of Boston we’ve seen it all, and we can say that the image above rings particularly painfully in our experience.

Jaguar has announced Bike Sense, a remarkable system that alerts the guy who is paying more attention to his smartphone than his driving driver to the presence of moving things around him – including pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles and other things that a two-ton rolling box of steel could, well, have an impact on.  Literally.

From Jaguar:

Jaguar Land Rover reveals its ‘Bike Sense’ research, which will tap the driver on the shoulder and ring a bicycle bell inside the car to help prevent accidents involving bicycles and motorbikes

With nearly 19,000 cyclists killed or injured on UK roads every year, Jaguar Land Rover researchers are identifying the best warning colours and sounds that will trigger an instinctive response from the driver to prevent accidents

Door handles will ‘buzz’ the driver’s hand to prevent doors being opened into the path of bikes

The accelerator pedal will vibrate if moving the car would cause an accident

‘Bike Sense’ is a concept technology that is being developed at Jaguar Land Rover’s Advanced Research Centre in the UK

Bike Sense alert mapping system

Bike Sense alert mapping system

What’s particularly interesting to us geeky nerdy motorheads is the method used to alert the driver:

Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Human beings have developed an instinctive awareness of danger over thousands of years. Certain colours like red and yellow will trigger an immediate response, while everyone recognises the sound of a bicycle bell.

“Bike Sense takes us beyond the current technologies of hazard indicators and icons in wing mirrors, to optimising the location of light, sound and touch to enhance this intuition. This creates warnings that allow a faster cognitive reaction as they engage the brain’s instinctive responses. If you see the dashboard glowing red in your peripheral vision, you will be drawn to it and understand straight away that another road user is approaching that part of your vehicle.”

What’s that?  Using human beings’ instinctive hazard-avoidance hard-wiring to alter them to hazards?  Brilliant!  Can we just wire that directly to their smartphones?

Categories: Bikes, Jaguar


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15 Comments on "Jaguar, Land Rover “Bike Sense” Is Genius"

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It is Genius. And it should be standard equipment. 19000 cyclists in just the UK per year. That is a sobering stat.

If that had been on the car that doored me twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have my nagging knee injury.

Think that leaving detection and response all to the vehicle as is currently implemented by BMW and others may be a much better idea.

Meanwhile as a city cyclist, I stick to my really blinding and flashing lights on the handlebar, rear view mirror, helmet, good brakes and: all senses on the road.

I wonder if this development has something to do with JLR partnering up with Team Sky cycle racing team.

Great idea, but the first cyclist we see overtakes a car on the left when it is sitting at the junction INDICATING IT IS ABOUT TO TURN LEFT!
If the car had driven into the idiot it word have served him right!
No driver would expect a cyclist to squeeze between him and the curb so why would he look there?
A Darwin Award nominee if ever I saw one!

Yes, but making mistake shoud’t alway’s kill you.
If everybody was perfect, nobody would need those thing anyway.

Nobody deserves to be hit and severely injured. However, you are correct that the error in this case is the cyclist’s. I am a certified instructor and teach bicycle skills, and one of the basics is correct lane positioning so as to never to pass on the curb side of a car that is turning or that may turn.

“…the first cyclist we see overtakes a car on the left when it is sitting at the junction INDICATING IT IS ABOUT TO TURN LEFT!”

This scenario (albeit inverted due to our driving on the left) is the cause of most fatal injuries to cyclists in London (where I work) usually caused by large vehicles such as trucks and busses.

(Oops! – you were referring to the video which is clearly a RHD vehicle!)

Actually, technology to prevent cyclists death already exists. No need for JLR to tout their fancy color-coded interior.

I like it. 🙂

Not sure how well this would go down in Beijing or Amsterdam.

Don’t know about Beijing, but I expect folks in Amsterdam would find it useless. Most drivers are already cyclists and are very aware of other cyclists using the road while driving. OTOH, they could embrace it as another tool they can use to watch out for their fellow cyclists.

The best way would be to do as the dutch and danes do and give cyclists their own rights of way, we call them cycletracks here, but whatever the term, it’s basically separated bike lanes. I would prefer a physical barrier over trusting that some moron isn’t going to ignore every single warning signal that goes off.