Jaguar previews 'Bike Sense'
The days of aggrieved cyclists angrily waving their bloodied fists at you as they pick themselves up off the ground could soon be in the past thanks to new technology developed by Jaguar Land Rover. Called Bike Sense, the system uses a battery of sensors around the car to detect when a bike or motorbike is getting close to you and warns you of its presence.
In that, it's quite similar to today's blind spot and parking sensor technology, but the added layer of sophistication is that it uses directional sounds - either a simulated bicycle bell or motorbike horn - played through the stereo speaker nearest the hazard, so that a driver can instinctively know where the danger is coming from. There's also a 'shoulder-tap' function in the seatback, where the top corner of the seat will vibrate to indicate the direction of approach.
A ring of directional LED lights arrayed around the base of the windscreen, the doorframes and pillars will also give a visual indication and the system will warn the driver of any bikes hidden in blind spots. If the driver ignores the visual and audio warnings the accelerator pedal action will be made stiffer and the pedal will vibrate so as to give further warning, while the door handles will light up and vibrate if the system detects that you're about to open your door into the path of an oncoming two-wheeler.
And the official word?
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."
"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," added Dr Epple.
"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."
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