Anyone in Philadelphia who follows auto industry news knows that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into making "smart" technology mandatory in all new cars. While they haven't yet ordered it, it is highly likely that this kind of safety technology will soon find its way into our cars. More importantly, however, is that similar technology is making its way into bicycles, too. Not only will this go a long way to warn bikers of dangerous situations, but it will also allow bicycles to communicate with cars, hopefully avoiding bicycle crashes.
A group of students have been working on the bicycle technology, but it may be a while until they are able to get it on the market. On their model bicycle, there are two consoles and many different sensors. Not only does it rattle the handlebars in order to tell the rider to make a turn as a form of GPS, but it will also use lasers to project green lines on the ground when cars are within 3 feet of the bicycle. This will serve as an emergency bicycle lane.
The other way that it helps avoid bicycle crashes is by sending a message to the driver that tells him or her that he or she is too close. By driving too closely to bicyclists, drivers put riders at risk of serious injury. All it takes is a momentary lapse in judgment and driver could easily strike a rider and cause serious injuries.
Though it is certainly not an ideal situation to be in, if a cyclist is injured, he or she can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver responsible.
Source: The Boston Globe, "'Smart Bike' focuses on safety," Martine Powers, Feb. 16, 2014