Cyclists are at high risk on the road and need to have their wits about them. Just like motorcyclists, they’re particularly prone to collisions, with little or no mitigation.
Now American car manufacturer Ford is developing a solution. It proposes to add an early warning system to cars that will tell drivers when a cyclist is approaching in their blind spot. Using some twenty or so cameras around the vehicle, the vehicle will be able to see where cyclists are at all times and then issue an alert. Ford’s idea at the moment is to make the wing mirrors and edges of their vehicles with strips of LEDs that will flash red when they detect an oncoming cyclist. Under the current plans, both the driver and the cyclist will be able to see the lights and hear an alarm sound.
Ford’s new concept also deals with another common problem – opening car doors in the path of oncoming cyclists. Sensors on the vehicle will detect a cyclist approaching and prevent the person inside the car from opening the door until they pass. The hope is that the system will prevent people from inadvertently opening their doors in the path of a cyclist.
More Respect On The Road
Ford’s plans, however, are about more than just reducing the number of accidents. They are also geared towards generating more respect on the road. The automaker hopes that the technology will help drivers and cyclists understand each other’s needs better.
Currently, the company says, there’s a lack of understanding between the two groups. Drivers don’t want cyclists on the road and vice versa. Ford hopes that the new technology will help people to share the streets so that everyone can benefit.
Ford Is Not The First To Have This Idea
Ford isn’t the first company in the world to trial this kind of technology. People have fitted some vehicles in the US with this technology already, especially on public transport where blind spots can be quite large.
As technology changes, so too will the role of the car accident lawyer. As batteries become more versatile, we’re likely to see an explosion of transport options. Ebikes, for instance, will become much more common on the roads because of their low running costs and high performance. Legal professionals will need to take these new types of cases into account.
Automakers such as Ford also need to respond by designing cars for this new environment. As the above example makes clear, driver error isn’t the only issue. Passenger oversight could also play a significant role too. Insurance companies need to factor this into their calculations in the future.
When Is The New Tech Coming?
Ford hasn’t set a date for the release of the new technology yet. We’re still very much in the testing phase. The company, however, says that it will continue to develop the concept over the coming months and hopes to create a viable product.
How exactly the vehicle will light up remains a matter for debate. Some designers imagine an emoji-style system where faces light upon the wing mirrors and doors to warn both drivers, passengers and cyclists of the danger.
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