“Glowing Lines uses photo-luminescent paint to mark out the edges of the road, and is the first of five concepts to be realised from Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde’s Smart Highway project – designed to make highways safer while saving money and energy.
Developed with infrastructure firm Heijmans, the paint absorbs solar energy during the day then illuminates at night. “Here the landscape becomes an experience of light and information,” said Studio Roosegaarde in a statement. “As a result this increases visibility and safety.” The lines are now installed along the N329 route in Oss for an initiative called Road of the Future. Three glowing green lines run along each side of the dual carriageway and illuminate every night.
Rooegaarde described driving along the section of road at night as “going through a fairy tale”. The project was first announced at Dutch Design Week 2012, and has since undergone a series of tests to gauge durability and user experience.
It was presented by Roosegaarde at the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town in 2013 and received an INDEX: Award later the same year.”
Revolights are a system of white and red LEDs mounted on the bike’s front and rear wheels which light up as the wheels spin. Sensors calculate how fast the wheels are spinning and turn the LEDs on and off to create arcs of light – white at the front and red at the back – which are visible from all angles. The original idea was actually to try to make a more efficient headlight by getting the light as close to the ground as possible. After the first prototype. the creator realised the huge added side visibility the motion of the lights created, which if you ride a bike you know is a big deal. Based on that he quickly made a red version for the rear wheel, and Revolights was born.
The See.sense “intelligent” bike light uses sensor technology from smartphones to assess the rider’s environment and responds by making them more visible when they need it most. When the sensors detect that the cyclist is at a road junction or roundabout, or passing through a dark underpass, it tells the light to flash faster and brighter.
“My epiphany came when I was cycling along looking at the smart phone on my handlebars. I realised that the smart sensor technology it contained could be used to give a light situational awareness. In essence, the light could be bright when it needed to be and conserve energy at other times. ”
The Lumen – handmade by Mission Bicycle of San Francisco – is the world’s first commercially available bike with a “retro-reflective” coating – with the frame and rims painted with hundreds of thousands of microscopic transparent spheres. The bike looks grey during the day – but when light hits the spheres at night it bounces straight back to the source, in a retro-reflective “cat’s eye” effect.
There are a few bike horns on the market at the moment but, unlike some noisier rivals, the Loud Bicycle Horn is deliberately set at 112 decibels – mimicking a typical car horn. The two-tone sound closely matches the pitch of a car horn too. Inventor Jonathan Lansey, a research engineer, says drivers react to car horns immediately – without locating where the sound has come from first.
“There are some bike horns that are louder than car horns,” he adds. “But we found that the sound of a ‘proper’ car horn is just right to get a driver’s attention without damaging your ears. There has been a lot of research showing that car horns are one of the best sounds to deter accidents.”
The Hövding – stocked in UK shops for the first time this month, a couple of years after its launch – is an airbag collar which inflates in under a tenth of a second when it detects the abnormal movement associated with a crash. The company cites crash tests by Swedish insurance company Folksam, which compared the Hövding to traditional cycle helmets and found it performed far better in reducing the chances of serious head injury or fatal injury.
Helios handlebars feature a super-bright headlight at the front, and two lights on the ends of the bars which can be used as directional indicators. Once connected to a smartphone using Bluetooth, the bar-end lights flash to offer easy-to-see turn-by-turn GPS navigation too.
“guiding cyclists through the dark dutmala tunnel in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, ‘transit mantra’ is an interactive sound and light sculpture designed by Amsterdam-based designers knol ontwerp. opened in august 2013, the symbiotic piece provides an improved sense of safety for people crossing through the tunnel. influenced by the history of eindhoven, a city fused by a cluster of former villages – its decentralized character is still apparent today when one passes through. based on the notion of ‘being in transit’, the swarm-like installation seeks to enhance this experience, offering a pleasant moment of reflection. when people move through the tunnel, the overhead sculpture reacts to the human movement. cleverly, it responds differently to an individual walking through versus a group of people on a bike – the velocity and number of passengers influences the behavior of the installation, leading to an ever-changing pattern of light and sound.”