On January 21, 2015 Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) announced the
development of a new range of technologies which will use colours, sounds and
touch inside the vehicle to alert drivers of bicycles and motorbikes near the
vehicle. The vehicles will be equipped with sensors to detect another road
user’s presence and identify it as a bicycle or motorbike then the system will
alert the driver to the potential hazard before the driver sees it. This new
technology has been dubbed as ‘Bike Sense’.
The Research and Technology team at JLR is programming Bike Sense to
use lights and sounds which the driver will instinctively associate with
potential danger and take appropriate measures to avert a crash. To help drivers
understand where the bike or cycle is in relation to their vehicle, the audio
system will make it sound as if a bicycle bell or motorbike horn is coming
through the speaker nearest the bike enabling drivers to immediately understand
the direction from which the cyclist is coming. As the bike or cycle approaches
the car, a grid of LED lights on the window sills, dashboard and windscreen
pillars will glow amber and then red. The red and amber lights inside the car’s
surfaces will move in the direction of bike.
Dr. Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land
Rover, said, “Human beings have developed an instinctive awareness of dangers
over thousands of years. Colours like red and yellow trigger immediate responses,
while everyone recognises the sound of a bicycle bell”.
The system also alerts drivers only to those hazards which are
nearest to their vehicle by intelligently prioritising potential cyclists,
motorbikes and pedestrians approaching the vehicle. The system is designed to
assist the drivers and not overwhelm or distract them with light or sound. Bike
Sense has been designed to alert drivers of potential hazards which they are
not aware of or cannot see.
The system also makes the accelerator pedal vibrate or feel stiff if
a driver chooses to ignore warnings and presses the accelerator. If the vehicle
is parked and a cyclist, motorbike or pedestrian is approaching, Bike Sense
will also help prevent vehicle doors being opened. The system will warn all
passengers of an approaching cyclist, motorbike or car through sound and light
inside the vehicle. If a passenger continues to open the door, the door handle
will light up, vibrate and buzz to alert them to the danger.
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