December 29th, 2014
The Dutch love their bicycles and many of their cities have their transport infrastructure specifically designed to support their cultural love of two wheels. Scientists from this cycle loving country have taken the form of transport one step further by inventing a prototype bicycle that warns you if you are about to crash!
The so called ‘intelligent bike’ has an anti-collision system which vibrates the saddle and handlebars if another vehicle or bike gets too close. It also uses specialist radar technology with a front and rear mounted camera to aid the cyclist with 360 vision.
The idea for this super safe bicycle came about to try and bring down the accident rates in older cyclists who struggled to look behind when negotiating traffic. Developed for the government by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), the prototype runs on electricity and the front and rear detection devices are connected to an onboard computer with a vibrating warning system installed in the bicycle’s saddle and handlebars. The saddle will vibrate when other cyclists/vehicles approach from the rear and the handlebars vibrate when there are risks ahead.
There is also a holder for a tablet which allows the cyclist to wirelessly connect and “talk” to the bicycle through a mobile app. The tablet also flashes if there is a potential collision such as another cyclist, car or lamppost.
This breakthrough in cycle technology may take some time to reach the marketplace but it is hoped that these additional safety features should drastically reduce the accident rates particularly among the older cyclists who’s visibility can be limited sometimes.