Road Safety News
 

App alerts drivers to presence of nearby bikers and cyclists

Friday 26th September 2014

A company in the US has developed an app which establishes communication between cars, motorcycles and bicycles that are in close proximity to each other, in a bid to improve safety for cyclists and motorcyclists.

TheBikeShieldApp is described as a “first layer crash avoidance technology” mobile app which gives car drivers an acoustic signal to warn them about approaching motorcycles and bicycles. The signal is designed to raise drivers’ awareness and reduce the likelihood of a collision with a cyclist or PTW rider.

The app is automatically activated on the driver’s mobile phone when he or she begins using the accelerator.

The app has been developed by a Californian-based start up company, TDG Company, which describes itself as “a group of enthusiastic cyclists and bikers”.

The company’s website says: “We love being on two wheels. We want to breathe cleaner air, we want to live in a less congested area and we want everyone to be happier. But, we want to do it safer.

“We’ve developed TheBikeShieldApp, a vehicle-to-vehicle communication system that takes advantage of mobile phone technology to warn car drivers when bicycles and motorcycles are around. It’s very simple.”

 

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See comment under the 'Direct Vision' news story: http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/3901.html. My earlier scepticism didn't take into account the genuine use this might be for lorry drivers.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)
+1

We have had TCAS (traffic collision avoidance system) in aeroplanes for many years now, but it does require a fair bit of training to use it properly. Any alert must be accompanied by vector information which gives relative position and distance so that the pilots know exactly where the threat is coming from. There are problems that crop up especially in crowded airspace when the TCAS is going off in response to traffic that is actually no threat.

Programming a TCAS system to work effectively in a densely crowded environment is not a trivial task and expecting people to be able to use them without training is expecting far too much.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)
+1

While I completely agree that the suggested mobile platform is inappropriate, let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.

What this app demonstrates is how simple vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems have the potential to bring significant benefits to collision avoidance. The early developers have to offer them in some form of after-market platform and the mobile app is an obvious (if ill-advised) starting point. The next step needs to be appropriate ergonomic design for the initial after-market products, but the developers will be looking to have their systems adopted by manufacturers for use in integrated systems. But I guess they need cyclists (and bikers) to have the app (or some other transponding device) in use for the whole system to work?
Matt Staton, Cambridgeshire

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
+3

With distraction and momentary loss of attention to the task at hand involved in at least 75% of accidents, this is the last thing we need.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)
+2

The hope of getting mobiles switched off when they are being used for insurance, navigation and other purposes is probably in vain. If someone used this app then they would have their phone in a (£5) cradle - not their pocket. The real issue is that you might be alerted to one vehicle on your left and not notice a non-app using rider on your right.
Mark, Caerphilly

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)
+4

Does this come with a mini bar attachment for the driver's door pocket?
Lostfor Words

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
+3

My car has had things that alert me to motorcyclists and cyclists for ages. They are called clean mirrors and windows and they are easy to use even by me, a dinosaur, who doesn't have a mobile phone and thought apps needed treatment by a doctor.
Peter Westminster

Agree (14) | Disagree (0)
+14

Who needs eyes, ears and mirrors when you can use this?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)
+6

Seems odd that at a time when the world of road safety is trying to restrict the interaction of drivers with mobile phones this app appears. I know if I have my Iphone (unbent) in my pocket, numerous sounds eminate from it alerting me to text, email, chat apps and so on. With the radio on and traffic sounds I would need to get it out to check what it is coming in. I guess then it is too late.
Keith

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)
+6

Bikers doing for bikers - let's hope that it works OK but I doubt the pickup from drivers. At a time that mobile phones should be switched off I cannot see this being viable plus when the alarm starts ringing I know I would be panicking thinking there is something wrong with the car and wondering where the noise is coming from.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (6) | Disagree (2)
+4