Called Bike Sense, the technology uses sounds, colours and touch that the driver will instantly associate with potential danger, rather than a warning icon that needs to be processed by the brain.
Sensors on the car will detect when another road user is approaching, identify it as bicycle or motorbike and then make the driver aware of the potential hazard. Watch the video below to see how it would work.
The audio system will make it sound as if a bicycle bell or motorbike horn is coming through the speaker nearest the bike. Bike Sense can also detect if it is overtaking or coming past the vehicle on the inside, and the top of the car seat will extend to ‘tap’ the driver on the left or right shoulder, instinctively making the driver look over that shoulder to identify the potential hazard.
LED lights on the window sills, dashboard and windscreen pillars will glow amber and then red as the bike approaches and the movement of these red and amber lights reflects the direction the bike is taking.
If a group of cyclists, motorbikes or pedestrians were moving around the car on a busy urban street, the system would intelligently prioritise the nearest hazards so the driver would not be overwhelmed or distracted with light or sound.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at Jaguar Land Rover, said: ‘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.’