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.
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
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?