Collision Avoidance Systems to Come Standard in the Velo Electric Bike

Posted on October 3, 2012

Have you ever commuted someplace on the back of a bike but worried about your safety?  Anyone who has ever rode their bicycle in a city like Los Angeles can probably attest to the danger they’re put through on a daily basis, and indeed, recent statistics detailed in the Los Angeles Times showed that the city is far more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians than the national norm.  However, a couple of engineers hope to improve safety by implementing within a bicycle the types of technologies that have thus far only been available in the newest editions of leading automobiles.

The Velo is the brainchild of an engineer from BAE and Sikorsky.  The creator identified a couple problems that he hopes this electric bike could help correct.  Those problems, revolving around collisions and mapping deficiencies, have previously been left up to the human astride the bicycle, but the Velo aims to change all that by taking the possibility of error out of a rider’s hands.

The first capability discussed is the bike’s collision avoidance system.  This works in the same way that technologically advanced automobiles tend to work.  A cyclist who has their attention drawn elsewhere when an obstacle is quickly approaching will have their mind brought back to the task at hand by way of a haptic interface that alerts said cyclist to the oncoming danger.  The bike purports to actually sense when the bike is about to crash into something.  Users will be able to control just how much input they want from the bike itself, anything from relative passivity to advanced monitoring.

The next exciting development the creators hope to offer is the ability to be more socially integrated.  Persons with a smartphone will be able to connect their device to the bike in order to access a wide variety of functions.  The bike will be able to plot out bicycle-friendly routes for riders, and then those routes will supposedly be transmitted to the smartphone.  The app will also be able to track your speed and the time you have left until you reach your destination, plus it will keep you connected with fellow riders who share pertinent cycling information.

This might all sound too good to be true, and it is right now.  At the moment, the bike is not yet available.  In fact, the creators are hoping to use a Kickstarter to garner the necessary budget that would allow them to make this smart-bike a reality.  Check out the video below for more information about this intriguing technology.

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