Citi Bike is gearing up for a high-tech upgrade this winter in the form of lasers, reports Metro. The bike share’s operator, Motivate, and the designers at Blaze have teamed up to outfit 250 bikes with Laserlight, a safety light that combines a 300 lumen LED with a forward projecting laser that continuously beams an image to warn cars and pedestrians a bike is approaching.
“We have been working with Motivate over a year to develop a brand new product that brings our innovative projection technology to the streets of New York,” Emily Brooke, Blaze’s founder and CEO, told Metro. “It also includes improved front lighting and connectivity, making cycling with a Citi Bike even safer and more enjoyable.”
Specs: 300 lm white LED, 4 hours of light at 95% depletion, fully waterproof, aircraft-grade aluminum casing
While Laserlight is new for NYC, the technology has already been implemented elsewhere. In London, the city’s 12,000 Santander Cycles each have a device installed. According to tests done by TRL, the UK’s leading transport research body, cyclist visibility to bus drivers and vehicles increased significantly as a result; in the case of busses it went from 72 percent to 96 percent.
Motivate adds that cyclists are actually more visible with Laserlight at night than they are during the day without it.
The 250 bike Laserlight rollout will mark the start of a pilot program, and the initiative will be expanded if it proves to be a worthwhile measure. As it stands, Citi Bike reports “few serious injuries and no deaths in the nearly 37 million trips” taken since 2013.
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