Tech Update: Jaguar Seat Taps Driver On Shoulder To Warn Of Bicycles
Bike Sense Research Project
Jaguar Land Rover's Bike Sense is a system under development that literally taps the motorist on the shoulder to let them know that a bicycle or motorbike is in close proximity.
Bike Sense incorporates sensors that scan the vehicle's surroundings. Once it finds a hazard, the driver is warned that care is required via touch, sound, light or a combination of all three.
The manufacturer claims this concept enables a motorist – in comparison to a generic warning icon or tone – to more instinctively identify the type of hazard and its position.
Imagine a bike is positioned to overtake the vehicle. Bike Sense recognises whether it is likely to pass on the left or right – then the seat taps the driver on the corresponding shoulder. Jaguar says this could instinctively make the motorist look in that direction.
As the hazard moves closer lights on the window sills, dashboard and windscreen pillars shine amber to indicate its proximity. When the bike is very close, they turn red to further emphasise the risk. The bike's direction of travel is indicated by which lights illuminate.
The hazard's position is confirmed via a noise through the closest speaker. The rear/left might “ring” like a bicycle bell to say a cyclist is close – or the rear/right might beep like a motorbike horn. Different tones allow a driver to instinctively recognise the type of bike.
If the motorist ignores the warnings and presses the throttle, the system emphasises the risk by making the pedal vibrate (or stiffen). It also – should a parked motorist try to open the vehicle's door into the path of a bike – makes the handle vibrate and illuminate.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, says: "Human beings have developed an instinctive awareness of danger over thousands of years. Certain colours like red and yellow will trigger an immediate response, while everyone recognises the sound of a bicycle bell.
"Bike Sense takes us beyond the current technologies of hazard indicators and icons in wing mirrors, to optimising the location of light, sound and touch to enhance this intuition.
“This creates warnings that allow a faster cognitive reaction as they engage the brain's instinctive responses. If you see the dashboard glowing red in your peripheral vision, you will be drawn to it and understand straight away that another road user is approaching that part of your vehicle."