Jaguar Land Rover's 'Bike Sense' research wing mirror

Jaguar Land Rover is developing a range of new technologies to prevent cycling accidents

January 20, 2015
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Jaguar Land Rover has revealed its ‘Bike Sense’ research under which it is developing a range of new technologies to alert drivers to potential hazards and prevent accidents with bicycles and motorbikes. With these technologies, the sensors on the car will detect another vehicle approaching close to the car and identify if it is either a bicycle or a motorbike. If it turns out to be either of them, the driver is made aware of the potential hazard before the driver sees it.

Jaguar Land Rover's 'Bike Sense' research cyclist red alert

Bike Sense alerts the driver using lights and sounds that the driver will impulsively associate with the potential danger. The audio system will make a sound from the speaker nearest to the bike, so that the driver understands the direction the cyclist is coming from.

Jaguar Land Rover's 'Bike Sense' research child on bike

Bike Sense will detect if a bicycle or motorbike coming up the road behind the car is overtaking or coming past the vehicle, and the top of the car seat will extend to tap the driver’s left or right shoulder so that the driver looks over that shoulder to identify the potential hazard. As the cyclist gets closer to the car, a matrix of LED lights on the windscreen pillars, dashboard and window sills will glow amber and then red as the bike gets closer. These red and amber lights will move across these surfaces to highlight the direction the bike is taking.

More information is available in the press release below.

JAGUAR LAND ROVER’S ‘BIKE SENSE’ RESEARCH WILL TAP DRIVERS ON THE SHOULDER TO PREVENT CYCLING ACCIDENTS – Press Release

  • Jaguar Land Rover reveals its ‘Bike Sense’ research, which will tap the driver on the shoulder and ring a bicycle bell inside the car to help prevent accidents involving bicycles and motorbikes
  • With nearly 19,000 cyclists killed or injured on UK roads every year, Jaguar Land Rover researchers are identifying the best warning colours and sounds that will trigger an instinctive response from the driver to prevent accidents
  • Door handles will ‘buzz’ the driver’s hand to prevent doors being opened into the path of bikes
  • The accelerator pedal will vibrate if moving the car would cause an accident
  • ‘Bike Sense’ is a concept technology that is being developed at Jaguar Land Rover’s Advanced Research Centre in the UK

Jaguar Land Rover's 'Bike Sense' research pedal vibrate

Whitley, UK: Jaguar Land Rover is developing a range of new technologies that would use colours, sounds and touch inside the car to alert drivers to potential hazards and prevent accidents involving bicycles and motorbikes.

Sensors on the car will detect when another road user is approaching and identify it as bicycle or motorbike. Bike Sense will then make the driver aware of the potential hazard before the driver sees it.

But rather than using a generic warning icon or sound, which takes time for the driver’s brain to process, Bike Sense uses lights and sounds that the driver will instinctively associate with the potential danger.

To help the driver understand where the bike is in relation to their car, the audio system will make it sound as if a bicycle bell or motorbike horn is coming through the speaker nearest the bike, so the driver immediately understands the direction the cyclist is coming from.

If a bicycle or motorbike is coming up the road behind the car, Bike Sense will detect if it is overtaking or coming past the vehicle on the inside, and the top of the car seat will extend to ‘tap’ the driver on the left or right shoulder. The idea is that the driver will then instinctively look over that shoulder to identify the potential hazard.

Jaguar Land Rover's 'Bike Sense' research cyclist in window

As the cyclist gets closer to the car, a matrix of LED lights on the window sills, dashboard and windscreen pillars will glow amber and then red as the bike approaches. The movement of these red and amber lights across these surfaces will also highlight the direction the bike is taking.

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.”

If a group of cyclists, motorbikes or pedestrians were moving around the car on a busy urban street, the system would intelligently prioritise the nearest hazards so the driver would not be overwhelmed or distracted with light or sound.

Bike Sense would also be able to identify hazards that the driver cannot see. If a pedestrian or cyclist is crossing the road, and they are obscured by a stationary vehicle for example, the car’s sensors will detect this and draw the driver’s attention to the hazard using directional light and sound.

Jaguar Land Rover's 'Bike Sense' research door handle vibrate

If the driver ignores the warnings and presses the accelerator, Bike Sense will make the accelerator pedal vibrate or feel stiff, so the driver instinctively knows not to move the car forwards until the hazard has been avoided.

Bike Sense will also help prevent vehicle doors being opened into the path of bikes when the vehicle is parked. Bike Sense would warn all passengers of an approaching cyclist, motorbike or car through sound and light inside the vehicle. If any passenger continues to open the door, the door handle will light up, vibrate and buzz to alert them to the danger.

“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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