Gadgets

Radar Sensor on a Bicycle Keeps Cyclists Safe

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Cyclists face many dangers on the open road, including the risk of being unaware of, and being invisible to, rear-approaching vehicles. With cyclists often blind to the cars approaching from behind, and with motorists in turn forgetting that they share the roads with cyclists, accidents involving vehicles colliding with bicycles are not infrequent.

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In 2010, iKubu began working on a concept to address the increasing number of road accidents involving cyclists. The device is now complete. Called the Backtracker, it is the result of years of extensive brainstorming, prototyping, and testing. This brilliant device uses a military-grade radar sensor to detect, warn, and track rear-approaching vehicles.

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Backtracker is composed of two units – one in the front, and another in the back. The front unit clips onto the handlebars and provides the rider with intuitive visual data of what’s going on in the rear. The proximity between the cyclist and the rear-approaching car is represented with an array of LEDs, helping the rider stay aware, while keeping the information in his field of view.

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Meanwhile the back unit which houses the micro-radar, clips onto your seat post and doubles as an intelligent backlight. Under normal circumstances the back unit works like a normal backlight, but when it detects an approaching car it gets brighter and flickers progressively faster as the car nears. This feature warns the driver to exercise more caution, and provides a sense of closing distance.

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This year iKubu has been acquired by Garmin. “Garmin is a technological leader among cyclists, and we are looking forward to integrating our technology and expertise into their outstanding products,” said Franz Struwig, managing director of iKubu. “Garmin gives us the resources to develop, bring to market, and showcase our products that we otherwise would not have.” With the powerhouse that is Garmin behind this product, you can expect to see the Backlight on the shelves in the near future.

Photos via: iKubu

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