Jaguar Land Rover has decided to undertake a new task to help protect our fellow cyclists out there on the open roads. A range of new technologies are being researched for “Bike Sense” that will allow colors, sounds and touch inside the car to alert drivers to potential hazards and prevent accidents involving bicycles and motorbikes.
If a bicycle or motorbike is coming up the road behind the Land Rover, Bike Sense, using lights and sounds, will alert the driver if it is overtaking or coming past the vehicle on the inside, and the top of the car seat will extend to “tap” the driver on the left or right shoulder. The idea is that the driver will then instinctively look over their shoulder to identify the potential hazard.
As the cyclist gets closer to the car, an array of LED lights on the window sills, dashboard and windscreen pillars will glow amber and then red as the bike approaches. The movement of these red and amber lights across these surfaces will also highlight the direction the bike is taking. The audio system will also make it sound as if a bicycle bell or motorbike horn is coming through the speaker nearest the bike, so the driver immediately understands the direction the cyclist is coming from.
Bike Sense would also be able to identify hazards that the driver cannot see. If a pedestrian or cyclist is crossing the road, and they are obscured by a stationary vehicle for example, the car’s sensors will detect this and draw the driver’s attention to the hazard using directional light and sound.
Dr. Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Bike Sense takes us beyond the current technologies of hazard indicators and icons in wing mirrors, to optimizing 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.”