04 Mar 2015
A UK-based company has combined a few common sensor technologies to create a new safety system for trucks that can alert drivers when they are in danger of colliding with cyclists and other obstacles.
The Bike Hotspot, developed by Sentinel Systems — a family-owned business based in Gloucestershire — features sensors located at the front and sides of a truck that can detect when a cyclist is nearby. The system also features internal audio collision alarm systems to alert drivers to potential dangers.
The Bike Hotspot system also include an external alarm that is sounded to warn cyclists when the vehicle is turning left.
Safety System Customizable
Optional features include:
- Thea ability to silence the alarms at night and switch to alternative LED warning lights to notify cyclists and other drivers when the truck is turning.
- Scanners that can detect cyclists at pre-defined distances and height to avoid sensing cars or pedestrians that are not at risk and unnecessarily triggering the alarm.
- A Controller Area Network (CAN) for use on buses that can ensure the alarm is triggered only when the bus is moving at speeds lower than 10 mph.
- Side cameras that can show the driver what is happening on all sides of his vehicle. All of the cameras feature dust and water protection technology.
Cyclists in Danger
Bicyclists are in read danger, especially on busy urban streets. In 2012, there were 726 fatal accidents involving cyclists and motor vehicles in the US, or about two people per day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
And the total number of people injured in cycling accidents rose to 49,000 that same year, up 1,000 from the previous year.
Bicycling accidents are much more likely to occur in urban areas, where a total of 69% of fatalities were reported. And about 30% of all fatal bicycle accidents occurred between 4 p.m.and 7:59 p.m., when visibilty is at its worst due to the setting of the sun.
‘Unacceptable’ Number of Truck/Cyclists Accidents
The Bike Hotspot system was developed out of necessity because of the rising number of injury and fatal accidents involving trucks and bicyclists, according to David Paulson, the company’s managing director.
“It is unacceptable that there are such a high number of incidents involving cyclists and (trucks) every year and we are confident that the Bike Hotpot system will help to reduce these numbers and increase the confidence of drivers and cyclists, particularly in busy cities,” Paulson said.
High-Tech Devices Used to Improve Safety
While the technology used in the Bike Hotspot already existed, the product combined it all to provide a comprehensive safety system for truckers and bicyclists.
The side and front sensors are similar to the kind of backup sensors that currently come standard on many newer model automobiles. And the cameras are the same type Mini-Pro Cameras that are becoming popular among thrill seekers and adventure athletes.
The Bike Hotspot system can provide an even larger safety range with optional rear-mounted sensors and cameras. It also offers an optional mobile digital video recorder that can record up to eight channels of video in order to provide footage for reference in defense or claims situations, or for live viewing or surveillance.