University of Brighton design students makes biking safer with BLAZE projection system

June 13, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog
University of Brighton design students makes biking safer with BLAZE projection system

(PhysOrg.com) -- Emily Brooke, a design student at the University of Brighton, may just be the best friend that a biker has ever had. Anyone who has tried to ride a bike on crowded city streets knows how much of a challenge it can be to get in and out of traffic unscathed will be grateful for her new invention. Known only as BLAZE the handlebar mounted system. The system projects a laser image onto the road in front of the bike, alerting near by drivers that there is a cycle in the lane in situations where the driver may not have otherwise been aware of the presence of a bike rider. Hopefully, this early warning system will prevent drivers from changing into lanes with a bike in them.

"Eighty per cent of cycle occur when travel straight ahead and a vehicle maneuvers into them," Ms. Brooke, told reporters. "The most common contributory factor is 'failed to look properly' on the part of a vehicle driver. The evidence shows the bike simply is not seen on city streets."

The system, which Ms. Brook developed in consultation with Brighton & Hove City Council, the Brighton & Hove Bus Company and driving psychologists projects the sharrow symbol in a green light bright enough to be seen in full daylight. For those of you not familiar with it the sharrow symbol is the sign for a shared lane. The system can be mounted to pedal bikes, scooters and motorcycles.

This design has already won its inventor a paid course at Babson College in Massachusetts, where she can continue to develop BLAZE. No word yet on when BLAZE will be on sale.

Explore further: The science of bike-sharing

More information: www.brighton.ac.uk/cem/news/2011/31may-emilyBrooke.php

Related Stories

The science of bike-sharing

January 31, 2011

The new environmentally-friendly concept of municipal "bike-sharing" is taking over European cities like Paris, and American cities like New York are also looking into the idea. It allows a subscriber to "borrow" a bike from ...

Copenhagen plans super highways ... for bikes

November 28, 2010

Copenhagen, one of the world's most bicycle-friendly cities, has begun turning its extensive network of cycle paths into bike highways in an effort to push more commuters to leave their cars at home.

Washington turning to bike-sharing plan

April 28, 2008

A new bike-sharing venture in Washington called SmartBike DC will allow people to rent bicycles using only a membership card, city officials say.

Bike lanes inspire more cycling, says study

January 7, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Are the freshly striped bicycle lanes on many New Orleans streets enticing more people to ride their bikes? A new Tulane University study sees a big increase in cycling along St. Claude Avenue, the city’s ...

Recommended for you

Tech titans join to study artificial intelligence

September 29, 2016

Major technology firms have joined forces in a partnership on artificial intelligence, aiming to cooperate on "best practices" on using the technology "to benefit people and society."

US prepares to cede key role for internet

September 29, 2016

The US government is set to cut the final thread of its oversight of the internet, yielding a largely symbolic but nevertheless significant role over the online address system.

Android's Nougat update isn't flashy, but still pretty handy

September 28, 2016

Nougat, Google's latest update of its Android smartphone software, isn't particularly flashy; you might not even notice what's different about it at first. But it offers a number of practical time-saving features, plus a ...

Microsoft teams with Bank of America on 'blockchain'

September 27, 2016

Microsoft and Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Tuesday announced they are working together to make financial transactions more efficient with blockchain technology—the foundation of bitcoin digital currency.

7 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Cave_Man
1 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2011
With the way the handle bar jerks around while avoiding objects this could become a serious distraction to motorists and could probably blind small children in the path of the laser beam.
jbeale
not rated yet Jun 13, 2011
...shortly before the child gets run over by the bicycle? I could imagine a gimble mounting with some inertia, to reduce the lateral motion.
ShadowRam
not rated yet Jun 13, 2011
There's no way you'll get this laser projection system bright enough for people to see in daylight, and yet safe enough not to do damage to people's eye's in the event of a reflection.

Interesting idea, but it won't work.
Beard
not rated yet Jun 13, 2011
Wear a helmet covered in blinking LEDs.
Ensa
5 / 5 (1) Jun 13, 2011
With the way the handle bar jerks around while avoiding objects this could become a serious distraction to motorists and could probably blind small children in the path of the laser beam.

I imagine it is a push-button type thing that you only use when needed. Not always-on. Kind of like "Hi - I am in this lane you are about to change into..."
Can't see it working any other way.
Haven't seen the specs though.

antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jun 14, 2011
Sound interesting. And most people here seem to have never ridden a bike (or at least never have use headlights on one). It doesn't 'jerk around' and you're not 'constantly avoiding obstacles' - even in inner cities.

As for protection of eyesight: The system is aimed downwards. If you're not smaller than 1 meter in height and standing right next to it then that shouldn't be a problem. Even for children this should be safe.
MarkyMark
not rated yet Jun 14, 2011
Wear a helmet covered in blinking LEDs.

Which requires that driver pays attention which is kind of the whole point of this safety device. You really needed to read the article! Personally i think this is a good idea as i know from personall experience just how unobservant drivers can be despite me wearing the right reflective clothing and the bright blinking lights to allert drivers to me being there. My only cncern is just how bright is the projected image during 'average' daylight and even during a sunny and bright day?

Other than that i applaud any attempts to make biking safer and so should you.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.