As more cities adopt bike share programs, the safety of cyclists in automobile traffic is becoming a serious concern. Michelin is attempting to improve safety using an ingenious device called Bikesphere that sits on a bicycle’s handlebars and projects a ring of red light around a cyclist at night.
The beacon is hard to miss and it easily shows drivers the appropriate distance to keep between a car and a bicycle. 20% of drivers reportedly don’t keep the proper distance between their car and cyclists, and that causes over 5,000 avoidable accidents every year.
So, how does it work? The device is more than just a safety light. It uses proximity sensors to detect when a cyclist is in danger of being hit by a car. If a car gets too close, the laser projection intensifies to alert both the car’s driver and the cyclist of the potential danger. In the daytime or in areas with good visibility, the device switches itself off to save energy and only activates its “position lights.”
Bikesphere is the first product made by the Trendy Drivers movement sponsored by Michelin, which crowdsources safety ideas and funds their production. It is currently not available for sale.