‘Smart bike’ under development

The actions of a motorist can change a bicyclist’s life in an instant. Thus, it is of the utmost importance that drivers make sure to not engage in careless conduct, such as driving too close to a bicycle, when they share the road with bicyclists.

The matter of whether a given bicycle accident was caused by motorist negligence is one of the things personal injury attorneys can conduct investigations into for accident victims. Whether or not motorist negligence was a factor in a given collision between a car and a bicycle can have significant impacts on the issue of liability.

Currently, a technology is being developed that is aimed at helping prevent bicycle accidents. Four mechanical engineering students from Northeastern University are the technology’s developers. The technology is called the Interactive Bicyclist Accident Prevention System and it could be referred to as a “smart bike” system. The system is a pair of sensor-containing consoles that are to be put on a bicycle’s rear and front.

Some of the system’s features are aimed at helping prevent accidents when a car starts to get too close to a bicycle. One of the system’s features is that, if a car gets closer than three feet to a bicycle, the system will use lasers to project a virtual bike lane onto the road to show the driver of the car how far they should be from the bicycle. Also, if the system senses that the distance between a car and a bicycle is too small, it will try to get the attention of the driver of the car by emitting a loud message. Additionally, the system’s developers hope to eventually give the system the potential to make direct bike-to-car communication.

The system also has features aimed at encouraging bicyclists to ride safely. For example, through the use of Bluetooth technology, the system will allow bicyclists to receive data on their phones regarding their cycling habits and whether their habits are putting them at a greater risk of experiencing an accident. Another feature makes a bicycle’s handlebars vibrate if the system detects that the bicycle is going at too high of a speed when approaching an intersection.

It will be very interesting to see how the development of this technology goes as the developers work to eventually get the technology to a point where it can go onto the market.

Source: The Boston Globe, “‘Smart bike’ focuses on safety,” Martine Powers, Feb. 16, 2014