Jaguar’s new Bike Sense system alerts drivers to the presence of a nearby bicycle by using a combination of audio, sensory and visual cues. When the system is activated, the driver will hear a sound like a bicycle bell, feel a vibration in the seat back or gas pedal, and see a series of LED lights that identify what part of the vehicle the bicycle is closest to.

If the driver is accelerating toward a bicyclist, a chime will sound. As the car and the bike get closer to each other, the system will actually push back through the accelerator to slow the car. Other beeps and LED signals warn when a bike is passing in front of the car at an intersection.

A motorist is often totally unaware of a bicycle approaching from behind, but Bike Sense will detect an oncoming bike and warn the driver with the a bicycle bell sound and an electronic tap on the shoulder. The seat will vibrate behind driver’s right or left shoulder, depending on which side of the car the bicycle is on. A series of LED lights will illuminate to announce exactly where the bicycle is in relation to the car as it passes.

Every bike commuter knows now harrowing it is to have a car door open suddenly directly in his or her path. The Bike Sense system knows when a driver begins to open the door and will use a series of beeps and flashing lights to alert the driver to the danger if a bicycle is approaching from behind.

The system can tell the difference between a bicycle and a motorcycle and uses different warnings for each. It can also alert a driver to pedestrians passing in front of or behind the vehicle. Jaguar shares its Bike Sense system with Land Rover, its corporate sibling. Jaguar’s interest in bicycle safely seems to be spurred by the fact that it is now manufacturing bicycles for the Tour de France.

In urban environments today, cars and bicycles often operate within the same space on the roadway. Jaguar’s commitment to bicycle safety is a sign that the automotive community is becoming more aware of the problems that close proximity can cause. Anything that makes the use of bicycles in an urban environment safer is a welcome step forward.

Source: Gas 2.0