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Brief Published: 27 Jan 2015

Bike-Sensing Driver Alerts

Bike Sense

British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover has unveiled a prototype alert system that will harness drivers' instincts to prevent bike accidents.

The Bike Sense system will be able to detect bicycles and motorcycles approaching the car. A range of alerts then makes the driver aware of the potential hazard before it becomes visible.

It takes time for the driver's brain to process a basic sound or warning icon on the dashboard. However, researchers say their system of visual, audio and haptic feedback can be instinctively associated with the potential 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," said Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at Jaguar Land Rover.

A bike bell or motorcycle horn audio alert comes from the direction of the hazard, allowing the driver to immediately understand the nature of the hazard and where it is coming from. The system 'taps' the driver on the appropriate shoulder if the bike is attempting to overtake – prompting them to look into their blind spot.

As the hazard approaches, a matrix of LEDs on the windowsills and dashboard glow amber and then red. Finally, the accelerator pedal and door handles stiffen and vibrate if the driver attempts to accelerate or exit the vehicle before the hazard has passed.

For the latest tech-driven developments in the car industry, check out our CES 2015: Automotive report. Also see our posts on Jaguar's 360-Degree Urban Windscreen and Land Rover's 'Invisible' Car for more of the company's experimental designs.