It’s being touted as the first smart bicycle, which warns riders of traffic dangers and obstacles.
The brainchild of a group of scientists from the Netherlands, it is equipped with a radar mounted just below the handlebars that checks the road ahead for unexpected movements and objects, as well as a camera above the rear wheel that keeps check on what’s going on behind the rider.
The cyclist is warned of any potential danger either via a vibrating saddle if the threat comes from behind, and through vibrations in the handlebars if it’s in front.
“Vibration appear to be a very effective way to warn a bicyclist, and we have done that by putting vibrating elements in the handlebars of the bike and also in the saddle of the bike and in that way we can very effectively warn him of danger from the front, from the back, but also indicating left and right,” says Maurice Kwakkernaat, a senior research scientist at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research working on the project.
Aside from the intelligent warning system, the bike also boasts an electric motor, offering assisted speeds of up to 25 km per hour. It is aimed at bringing down the rate of accidents in the Netherlands, which saw 184 cyclists killed in crashes last year alone. According to bike’s developers, many accidents happen when cyclists look behind them or get a fright when they are overtaken at high speed.
“We see a rise in accidents with elderly people and we also see a rise in the use and the amount of time they are on a bicycle. That means that the number of accidents increase and we try to reduce that by using new technology,” says Kwakkernaat.
Its developers are still working on bringing down the bicycle’s weight which stands at an impressive 25 kilos. Expected to hit the market in two years’ time, it should cost between 1,700 euros and 3,200 euros – around the same as a standard electric bicycle.