Jaguar Land Rover is developing a range of new technologies that use colours, sounds and touch to alert drivers to potential hazards, preventing accidents involving bicycles and motorbikes.
The Bike Sense system includes car-mounted sensors that will detect when a bicycle or motorbike is approaching, then make the driver aware of the potential hazard before it is visible.
Rather than using a warning icon or sound, which takes time to process, Bike Sense makes use of instinctive human reactions using lights and sounds associated with potential danger – for instance, the audio system will sound a bicycle bell or motorbike horn through the speaker nearest a vehicle to identify its direction.
If a bike or motorcycle is overtaking or coming past on the inside, the top of the car seat will extend to ‘tap’ the driver on the appropriate shoulder. As the cyclist gets closer, LED lights on the windowsills, dashboard and windscreen pillars will glow amber and then red. On a busy urban street, the system could intelligently prioritise the nearest hazard.
Bike Sense would also be able to identify an oncoming pedestrian or cyclist obscured by a stationary vehicle. If the driver ignores the warnings the system could make the accelerator pedal vibrate or feel stiff. Passengers opening doors could also be warned about approaching cyclists, motorbikes or cars through sound and light inside the vehicle.
‘It could be ready within 5-10 years as a fully functional system and we are working with suppliers to identify and develop the technology to help make this a reality,’ said Lee Skrypchuk, human machine interface technical specialist at JLR. ‘Some aspects may be possible to get to market sooner. We are working on a demonstrator vehicle with the haptic pedals at the moment, for example.’