With so many injuries and fatalities involving bikes and motorbikes in the Philippines, this new safety feature Jaguar Land Rover is working on in the UK might just be the technology needed positively change this statistic.

Called ‘Bike Sense,’ this concept technology will use colors, sounds, and even touch to alert the driver about potential accidents involving bicycles and motorbikes.

image alt

Sensors all around the vehicle analyze oncoming traffic and determine whether or not it is a bicycle or motorbike.  It will then inform the driver of the situation before he is even aware of it by either making a bicycle bell sound or a motorbike horn to depending on what type of two-wheeled unit it encounters.  The sound will even emanate from the speaker closest to the bike to let the driver know where it is coming from.  Using the top of the car seat, it will even ‘tap’ the driver either on the left or right shoulder depending on which side the bike is on compelling the driver’s instinctive nature to glance back towards the tapped shoulder.

image alt

To hasten the reaction process, Bike Sense will use hues and sounds that are internationally associated with danger or potential hazards so that the driver is engaged right away.

As the bike nears the vehicle, LED lights on the windowsill, dashboard and A-pillars glows amber in a pattern that mimics the bikes direction and then turns red as it gets closer.

In the event that a large group of cyclists, bikers or pedestrians move around the vehicle in a city setting, the system prioritizes the closest hazard to avoid overwhelming the driver with cues.  It an also detect bikers hidden behind stationary vehicles and will alert the driver using directional light and sound.

Bike Sense will also manipulate the accelerator and make it vibrate and ‘stiffen’ if the driver ignores the warning.  It is also active while the vehicle is parked, alerting drivers who are about to open doors to oncoming bikers using lights and sounds.  If the door continues to open, the door handle will light up, vibrate and buzz to further alert the driver.

image alt

“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,”said Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover.

“By engaging the instincts, Bike Sense has the potential to bridge the gap between the safety and hazard detection systems in the car and the driver and their passengers.  This could reduce the risk of accidents with all road users by increasing the speed of response and ensuring the correct action is taken to prevent an accident happening,” added Dr Epple.