New initiatives to keep cyclists safe.
As an avid bicyclist, I am often at odds with drivers who speed through intersections where I have the right of way, or who make my every trip a potential danger.
But as evidenced by the bicycles often displayed atop SUVs and crossovers at car shows, many drivers are themselves cycling enthusiasts who welcome the peaceful coexistence of bikes and cars.
And two new initiatives can help.
Jag keeps an eye out
Jaguar Land Rover’s BikeSense technology can detect when a bicycle or motorcycle is approaching. The company describes the program as a tap on the shoulder that will use a bicycle bell sound to warn the driver about the bicycle – and the sound will come form either the left or right speaker, depending on where the cyclist is.
Even if the car isn’t moving, the system prevents another bane of cyclists: being ‘doored.’ Door handles will buzz if opening the door will result in a collision with a biker. Having been doored twice, I am all over this idea.
Doubly safe helmets
Volvo has a concept bicycle crash prevention helmet, shown at the Consumer Electronics Show. As reported in the Detroit Bureau, the helmet would link riders and cars via a smartphone app – and, importantly, alert both the driver AND the cyclist.
Safer for walkers, too
If you are crossing the street on foot, Ford is introducing its pre-collision assist this year on some Ford and Lincoln models. The system uses radar and a camera to detect pedestrians and provides visual and audio alerts – plus automatic braking – to prevent collisions.