Fleet News

Jaguar Land Rover drivers will get a ‘tap on the shoulder’ to warn of cyclists

Jaguar Land Rover is developing a range of new technologies to alert drivers to potential hazards and help 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. The technology, 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.

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 at 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 are moving around the car on a busy urban street, the system will intelligently prioritise the nearest hazards so the driver will not be overwhelmed or distracted with light or sound.

Bike Sense will 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.

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 will 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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  • Reg Willcox - 20/01/2015 12:21

    Good idea How about fitting a spike hidden in the bicyclists saddle that protrudes upwards every time they undertake in traffic, cross lanes in front of you, ignore red lights and ride on and off pavements at will. They are either road users when it suits and pedestrians when it dosent requiring many drivers to have eyes in the back of their heads as well as have to deal with normal driving and traffic conditions

  • Carcoat Damphands - 20/01/2015 13:32

    Oh look, another article about cycling and stupid comments start to crop up again. Nice trolling

  • Carcoat Damphands - 20/01/2015 13:33

    And to top it off, the picture used in this article shows a driver using his mobile phone!

  • Reg - 20/01/2015 13:49

    Talking of stupid comments, it is not illegal to use your mobile phone in the vehicle if parked with the engine switched off.

  • Carcoat Damphands - 20/01/2015 14:04

    If only everyone i've seen using their mobile phone in their car/van were parked up with the engine switched off. I wish there was a spike under the drivers seat... blah blah blah! lol

    • Daniel - 29/01/2015 10:31

      @Carcoat Damphands - Reg sounds like a nice man :). Re the phone comment, after suffering three cracked Ribs from a driver who slammed his door into me as he got out on a high street whilst texting, maybe we should ban even that LOL. He got off scott free and was angry his phone was busted. and I was only riding closer than a car door width due to the abuse I was given by a bloke in a van for riding a bit out from parked cars for safety, I'lll bet he drove off laughing

  • Dan - 29/01/2015 10:23

    Nice Technology, hopefully it will make a difference, though as a cyclist I did think that girl was in the wrong to cut up the inside, that said did she deserver to be squashed for it and does the driver want the car damage an agravation for what would be a non fault incident for them, no. So a good idea. As I got knocked off by a nice man in a mercedes last night, whilst circulating safely, with hi vis and two bright ligts and a white helmet, and reflective spokes, he cut up the inside of a stationary line of traffic in the lane for turning left (what is where I was exiting to) and straight into me ) to go straight on a high speed, after knocking me off he drove off leaving me sprawled in the road. This sort of tech would be a godsend for dirvers like him and cyclists like me, but also good drivers being protected from dumb cyclists, because whils tthe cyclist always comes off worse, who wants the agro of an accident?. My vision is for the cycle of the future to have the same tech maybe in some form of google smart glass, or via a hud on the bars/vibration via smart watch, maybe transponders in bikes and cars alerting everyone to everyone else. This would make to make even the dumbest halfords Apollo riding commuter more aware of their enviroment as well as the less skilled driver. A safer less agresive commute for all. PS Reg :( bike hate :(. I never ride on pavements, I dont filter down the inside, and I ride courteously and respectfully as do most scyliusts I see, don't serostype. (or are you the bloke from Taylor Landscaping lol) If I got a tenner for every car that nearly hit me I'd get £50 a week, and if I got the same for catrching drivers on there phones tecting etc I'd make hundreds, but I'm not saying all car drivers are bad, that would be daft, as I am one, and so are all my cycling buddys. We all have nice cars too as cycling is not a cheap hobby, so lets get off the bike hating again, its old. Remember arent another species, I have two cars, pay £50 a month in VED, and pay my council tax, I drive and cycle safe, aware and ride defensivley. I have three kids, but still got hurt and nearly killed by an idiot in a car.

  • Dave Chapman - 01/05/2015 12:01

    This is technology with life saving potential. Unfortunately with current luxury cars, the soundproofing can hide the outside world. This seem a great step to bringing back hazard awareness. I am a biker for over 40 years and really welcome this development.

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