This new safety system is scheduled to be fitted into Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) vehicles and aims to reduce the number of accidents involving cyclists each year. Estimates say there are 19,000 cyclists who are killed each year on the roads in Britain. The new system should arrive within the next two years and could improve the driver’s ability to detect approaching cyclists and make the roads a safer place for bikers.
The problem has been the tight spaces on the roads and between cars as vehicles and cyclists try to navigate the byways together. If JLR can alert their drivers to when they have a rider close to them or in the hit zone, they can make sure they stay aware of where they are and avoid a collision.
This new system will alert the drivers in many ways including a ringing bell inside the cabin and electronic controls that will actually nudge the driver’s seat cushions. Traditionally the cyclists have always rang the bike bell to alert the driver to the side they are passing on, and now the system inside the vehicle will hear this bell and activate Bike Sense and let the driver know with an audible alert inside on the same side where the cyclist is approaching. If the car is stopped or parked, the door handle will even vibrate to alert the driver not to open until the cyclist has safely passed. If the driver is about to move the car or accelerate and a cyclist is in the area, the gas pedal will also vibrate to alert the driver.
The goal for JLR was to tap into the motorists’ natural instincts and improve their reaction time to the cyclist. The facts show that even minor accidents involving a motorist and a cyclist can be fatal due to the difference in size and weight of the vehicle and bike.
Jaguar spokesman said “Sensors on the car will detect when another road user is approaching and identify it as a bicycle or motorbike – it will then make the driver aware of the potential hazard before the driver sees it.” The coolest feature is when the system senses an oncoming cyclist from behind; the car seat will extend to “tap” the driver on the left or right side of their shoulder causing the driver to instinctively look over that shoulder to find the potential hazard.
Bravo to Jaguar Land Rover for raising the bar on this active safety system that will most assuredly save lives and reduce the amount accidents on the roads involving cyclists and cars.
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