The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) is behind a new smart bike that lets you know when fast-moving objects get too close. The saddle and handlebars of the bike vibrate if a car or bike is getting too close behind you or someone suddenly pulls out in front of you. The Dutch agency is working on new technologies designed to help eliminate fatal traffic crashes.
The radar mounted on the front of the bike detects the range and speed of oncoming obstacles. A camera system is attached to the rear to detect multiple vehicles at the same time with image processing. An advanced algorithm filters out what obstacles are important and calculates how much time is left before a potential crash.
If an obstacle is in front of the bike then the handlebars vibrate to warn the rider of a potential accident. If there is an obstacle approaching from behind, then the saddle vibrates. Many accidents occur because people involved aren’t aware of their surroundings.
The bike runs on an electric motor. Right now it is quite heavy, 55 pounds, but when it reaches the consumer market in a couple of years, researchers are hoping they can make it lighter. The bike won’t be cheap; the expected price is $2000 to $4000.
The bike is designed with elderly cyclists in mind. People with disabilities including bad hearing or sight and those who have a hard time moving their head to see traffic approaching from behind would also find this bike very practical. The researchers have found young people also show a lot of interest in the bike as well.