16 Jan

Laser Bike Light? Oh, lawdy!!

in Inventions


As we look for ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and find viable transportation alternatives to the internal combustion engine, many urbanites are turning to that staple of bipedal locomotion: the humble bicycle. While ridership is increasing every year, bicycle safety remains a huge issue: in 2007, 43,000 people were injured in bike accidents, resulting in 698 deaths. Though many cities are getting serious about making bike-friendly infrastructure changes, installing bike lanes is a costly porposition with a glacial pace of implementation.

Enter LightLane, a safety concept from the clever designers at Altitude, Inc. The system projects a virtual bike lane (using lasers!) on the ground around the cyclists, providing drivers with a recognizable boundary they can easily avoid. The idea is to allow riders to take safety into their own hands, rather than leaving it to the city.

Dublin, like most European cities, isn’t too bad when it comes to bike lanes, but the U.S. is still appallingly behind.  More aggravating given the monstrous road widths American motorists seem to demand.  I wonder how effective this would be during the daytime, but either way – kudos for one of the most brilliant ideas I’ve seen in weeks!