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Bike Projector Makes Lane For Rider 856

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-cross-the-laser-line dept.
hh4m writes "Whether it's San Francisco, New York, or any bicyclistic city in between, you're destined to witness biker after biker dancing with danger, especially at night when visibility is uncomfortably low. Alex Tee and Evan Gant's LightLane device was recently just a concept but is soon to enter reality as a much-needed visual declaration of personal biking space. With a dire shortage of dedicated lanes, LightLane provides urban cyclists with a solution that adapts to them and any route they make take. The compact projector mounts easily to the rear of a bike frame and projects a bike lane-inspired linear pattern that provides great visibility and a familiarity that helps catch a driver's attention."

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Bike Projector Makes Lane For Rider

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  • Where this projector would be adapted on a car to project an autobahn lane with no speed limit while driving on the highway ;-)) ?

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b4/Zeichen_330.svg/100px-Zeichen_330.svg.png [wikimedia.org]

    Anyway, would this type of device be legal everywhere even for bikes ?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If that thing's using lasers instead of just cheapo LEDs with something restricting the beam I REALLY don't want to be near it when it hits something reflective. I still cringe when I think about the time my friend tried to use his laser pointer in a rainstorm.

      • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @01:39AM (#28554183)

        No to mention the danger of attracting friggin' sharks if you ride near the seafront.

      • by Random Destruction (866027) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:07AM (#28554703)

        If that thing's using lasers instead of just cheapo LEDs with something restricting the beam I REALLY don't want to be near it when it hits something reflective.

        I assume they use something not terribly eye-burny if its made to be looked at by drivers.

        Though on second thought, as a cyclist, I'm not sure a deathly laser assault on drivers is completely unwarranted.

        -

        I still cringe when I think about the time my friend tried to use his laser pointer in a rainstorm.

        A few years back, I mounted a laser pointer to my nes blaster gun for duck hunt. Simultaneously the smartest and stupidest thing I've done. Laser sight is badass, but the reflection off the CRT was a bit alarming.

        • by stevied (169) * on Thursday July 02, 2009 @06:04AM (#28555487)

          Though on second thought, as a cyclist, I'm not sure a deathly laser assault on drivers is completely unwarranted.

          As a driver, I often have the reverse thought. I work weekends, and what is a nice ride out of the suburbs for lots of cyclists is my commute. What is it with convoys of cyclists? Either two (or more) abreast, stretching the overtaking distance substantially or preventing it completely, or in indian file leaving no gaps for cars to pull into, meaning you either have to try and overtake anywhere from 2 to 6 bikes at once, or not at all.

          I'm a realist. I know we're going to have to throttle back on car use a lot in the future. I'm quite happy to pay more road tax to fund better public transport, and if it was better I would use it. Perhaps we can build more off-road cycle lanes too? Bikes and cars just don't mix - the size, vulnerability, and speed differentials are just too great.

          In the meantime I wish cyclists would realise that some people still have to drive to make a living. We're not arseholes, most of us have good spatial awareness and don't really fancy the idea of killing anyone. Any chance of some consideration going in the other direction?

          Rant over.

    • by clarkkent09 (1104833) * on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:32AM (#28554807)
      Let's say there is a car coming up directly behind the bike. Assuming this works as it should and for a moment it fools the driver into thinking it's a bike lane, his natural response might be to move to the left (or right in UK) to get off the bike lane. Given that the bike could be anywhere, including in the middle of the road, this could be a head on collision waiting to happen.

      Oh, never mind, just found a video of it in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOU563OvpUY [youtube.com] No chance of anyone thinking that's a bike lane..
  • by Ifni (545998) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @01:28AM (#28554119) Homepage
    It doesn't say anywhere I can find, but does the device just "paint" a lane with you always in the center, or does it try to detect a curb and give you a steady guide so you don't drift out into traffic? I'm guessing the former, which makes me wonder how exactly this is better than a head and tail light.
    • by nametaken (610866) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @01:44AM (#28554221)

      Yes, it's just projecting a false lane on the ground behind your bike. Basically the bike rider is insisting there's a bike lane where there isn't one, and the hope is that cars will see it and think of it like a real bike lane. In the meantime, the bike is constantly moving... making this just a bunch of flashing red light on the street.

      FTA: Originally presented as a losing design competition entry, LightLane has continued onto a path to production thanks to widespread public interest and encouragement.

      It's a shit idea, and I SERIOUSLY doubt there's been "widespread public interest and encouragement".

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by antic (29198)

        It's novel, and I bet there *has* been widespread interest and encouragement - I've seen this discussed and sent around (with positive sentiment) many times over recent months.

    • I think it's just a rear light without any curb sensing.

      I bike basically everywhere, and for night biking, I have:
      four front lights - two LED and two Halogen
      two armbands - both blinking LEDs
      LED-equipped reflective vest
      tire lights (blue LEDs that make blue streaks when moving)
      a helmet LED
      1/2W rear red LED
      (and, of course, all the reflectors and striping I can find - I have a bigger RADAR signature than a bread van.)

      And I still try to stay the hell off the roads. If you're in a car and you get hit by a truck,

      • by ocularDeathRay (760450) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @02:10AM (#28554383) Journal
        DUDE! you must look exactly like a lightcycle from Tron!

        This gives me an idea! screw this new device, what I want is a thing that leaves a wall behind me. somebody pisses me off and I just swerve out in front of them and BOOM.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by adolf (21054)

        Wow. Overkill, much? :)

        I dislike sunlight, so I ride my bike exclusively at night. We don't have much in the way of bike trails here, so I spend my time on the road.

        I have a 3-Watt LED headlight (which was something like $12 from dealextreme), and a blinky-pattern red LED tail light. I wear a reflective (also from dealextreme) orange strap on my right leg, but that's mostly to keep my pants out of the chain wheels. Other than that, the wheels have each have the standard white retroreflectors on the spok

  • yes but... (Score:4, Funny)

    by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @01:29AM (#28554123) Homepage
    ...are the laser-lines legally binding? What will the local constabulary think of people re-writing the road lanes ad hoc? And does it run line-x?
  • So... wait. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kuroji (990107) <kuroji@gmail.com> on Thursday July 02, 2009 @01:29AM (#28554127)

    This is using green lasers and the picture shows it with red? Okay, that's silly in itself, but more importantly, whenever it hits a puddle, any other reflective surface or god forbid is used in the rain, isn't EVERYONE GOING TO GO BLIND INCLUDING THE BICYCLIST?

    • by Maddog Batty (112434) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:57AM (#28555223) Homepage

      The green line lasers used here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOU563OvpUY [youtube.com] look like they are in the 1mW to 5mW range type devices. These are eye safe under all conditions as it isn't possible to get all that light focused onto the back of you eye even if you hold it within a few mm of your eyeball. At 1m distance, the power entering your eye will be approx 1/100 of this so there is absolutely zero chance of eye damage from this sort of thing.

      Dazzle on the other hand is far more of an issue. It is quite possible that a reflected beam could distract or dazzle a driver for a few seconds. Not something you want to happen.

  • mega fail. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @01:39AM (#28554187)
    some retard is going to get this and think there's a bike lane no matter where he goes. when a mac truck disagree's with him, he will claim it was in the bike lane.
  • Maybe on concrete (Score:4, Interesting)

    by quenda (644621) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @01:40AM (#28554199)

    but around here, the roads are black bitumen, so trying to paint them with a laser won't work so well, will it?
    Except when the roads are wet, then it may work _too_ well.
    Anyway, we have plenty of real bike lanes here, so I don't care.

    Not to mention that green lasers are banned imports. Not sure if this will be a good enough reason
    on my import permit application.

  • by ZackSchil (560462) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @02:32AM (#28554485)
    I live in a very rural area where there are no bike lanes and cyclists tend to ride on the road very often. The bikers who live around here tend to ride on the white line, one abreast. Motorists give them room and slow down to pass, since there's little traffic usually and the roads are wide enough for a bike and a car to ride side by side. There's no problem with this setup. Until, of course, there's a bike race and hundreds of city dwellers descend on the town. The city cyclists get out there like there's something to prove, riding 4 feet out into the lane, often 2 abreast for no reason. The people here have no desire to hit a cyclist and aren't used to this asshole road-blocking behavior. I haven't seen any bikers get hurt, but I HAVE seen more than one car wrecked or off the road while trying to pass a cyclist who keeps drifting farther and farther left while oncoming traffic keeps whipping by around blind corners. And the they try to brush it off like they had nothing to do with it. Oh, like a goddamned rolling roadblock ignoring your horn and shouts for 2 miles wouldn't cause you to make some less than ideal choices.

    The road is big enough if both parties just share. The real problem here is self-righteous assholes, not cyclists or motorists.
    • by Manic Miner (81246) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @05:27AM (#28555327) Homepage

      So let me get this right.... you think it is the cyclists fault if a car driver passes them on a blind corner and then has an accident? If it's a blind corner then the car driver should wait until they can see! Would you blame a tractor or other slow moving vehicle if you had a crash while trying to overtake them on a blind corner??

      Cyclists cycle out from the curb because it is the safest way to cycle, otherwise they frequently end up getting run over / pushed off the road as cars try and squeeze past while traffic is in the other lane. I've been run off the road by a car trying to squeeze past then suddenly realising there is a truck coming so they need to move over more.. right into me.

      I used to try and cycle in a way that made it easy for car drivers to get past etc. But I've been nearly hit, cut up and run off the road too many times. Now I cycle out from the curb and car drivers pass me properly and I've had no issues with being cut up, it is by far the safest way to cycle.

    • The door prize (Score:3, Informative)

      by tepples (727027)

      The city cyclists get out there like there's something to prove, riding 4 feet out into the lane

      That's because they're used to there being a parked car lane next to the curb and they don't want to get doored [bicyclesafe.com].

  • by popo (107611) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @02:52AM (#28554597) Homepage

    Funny to hear how much ire there is for bicyclists in other parts of the country.

    As a Manhattan native I can confidently say that the most annoying thing on the road is the douchebags who feel like its a good idea to bring their massive cars in from Jersey, Westchester and Long Island -- and clog up traffic.

    From a NY perspective, the traffic problems have nothing to do with cyclists at all. They have more to do with a perceived right to bring a massive metal and glass behemoth into the world's most crowded places. Keep that sh*t parked outside the city and take public transportation.

    I'm all for a $50 toll for commuters. Clogging up the city should be incredibly expensive for non-commercial traffic.

    Cities should be primarily mass transit, taxis, pedestrians and bicycles. Douchebags feeling like they have a right to bring their suburban into the city is a much bigger problem than some dude on a bike.

    • You said it yourself NYC is the most crowded place (in the US at least). NYC is unique, there is a functioning large scale subway system, the entire island of Manhattan is only 2 miles wide, NYC is uniquely suited to pedestrian and bike traffic.

      Unfortunately for the rest of the country bicycles more often than not have a combined negative effect. Most urban area's around the country have little residential traffic and most of the commuters are coming from widely dispersed areas. Widely disbursed commuters

  • by RevWaldo (1186281) * on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:09AM (#28554713)
    Instead of when it was first reported in January?

    http://slashdot.org/submission/928767/Virtual-Bike-Lane-proposed-by-designers?art_pos=1 [slashdot.org]

    Sheesh.
  • A 2 euro solution (Score:5, Informative)

    by captainpanic (1173915) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:43AM (#28554861)

    I don't see why having fancy (but fake) laser-system-bike-lane would be any good. I have seen people driving around with a thin, flimsy reflector which sticks out 30 centimeters (about 1 ft) from the side of the bike. It won't damage cars if they get hit and also won't cause the biker to fall, because it will just fold backwards... but it does show cars to go around the biker. It's a 2 euro solution for the problem we're dealing with here. It does not require batteries. It can easily be built on any bike. It already exists.

    In addition, real bike lanes are worth the money. Great experiments (Denmark, Netherlands) show that this really works. Perhaps there is no space in Manhattan, but on 99.9% of the surface of the earth, a 1 meter wide lane really isn't a big issue.

  • Funny ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:25AM (#28555073) Homepage

    ... the cyclist in the picture doesn't actually have any lighting on his bike apart from the lane-thingy :D

    Anyway, as a dutch person who has biked in the states (Knoxville, TN area) I was absolutely appaled by the risks bikers have to take on americans roads. I was trying to make my way from my parents house to knoxville, a minor 10 mile ride, and at one point found myself forced to take an interstate ... holding to the shoulder of course but it was rocky and all ... worthless and dangerous.

    To paint the picture, in the Netherlands you could cycle the whole country without having to share a lane with a car once ... we have a pretty good infrastructure with bike lanes and even seperate bike paths with run parallel to the roads.

    My point being, this 'solution' sucks, is overengineered and impratical. If you want to really encourage people riding bikes instead of taking the car, build the infrastructure for it.

    It can be done, even in formerly very car-centric cities. Take, for example, Paris, where the last years biking has taken off hugely because of a city push for more biking, including cheap rental bikes and massive new bike lane building.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Chris Mattern (191822)

      Anyway, as a dutch person who has biked in the states (Knoxville, TN area) I was absolutely appaled by the risks bikers have to take on americans roads. I was trying to make my way from my parents house to knoxville, a minor 10 mile ride, and at one point found myself forced to take an interstate ... holding to the shoulder of course but it was rocky and all ... worthless and dangerous.

      And illegal. Bikes are not allowed on to interstate highways.

  • by zmollusc (763634) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:35AM (#28555117)

    Inventor: Hey, bicycle enthusiasts! Want to buy a neat safety device?

    Cyclists: Sure! We are all about safety, look at the styrofoam on our heads and these lycra shorts! We care about safety because many of us are killed or injured in the most baffling circumstances.

    Inventor: Ah, ok! This is a device that projects a cycle lane onto the road so that traffic behind you is made more aware of your presence on the road.

    Cyclists: 'Be-hind'? What is 'be-hind'? Is it something to do with my shorts?

    Inventor: Not shorts related. Behind you. To your rear. The traffic coming up behind you.

    Cyclists: Traffic coming up behind us? What are you talking about?

    Inventor: You know, when you look behind you and..

    Cyclists: LOOK BEHIND? Are you crazy? Your words don't make any sense.

    Inventor: Well, when you turn your head..

    Cyclists: TURN the HEAD? You are nuts! The head doesn't turn! The head looks down at the front wheel spindle. You are a crazy man!

    Darwin: Dude, you are wasting your time with those cyclists.

  • Insurance (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kylegordon (159137) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @05:08AM (#28555249) Homepage
    I see all these people arguing about cyclists vs cars, obnoxious vs pleasant, etc and I really don't care. All I do care about though, is that cyclists should be forced to have insurance when they are given the privilege of using the Queen's Highway free of charge. (Yes folks, those lovely roads you cycle on are paid from the taxation of motorists)

    Sure, smack my mirror on the way past down the queue of traffic, maybe scratch the side of my door with the pedal clips, and I just love it when a cyclist comes barrelling out a side street and into the side of my vehicle leaving a nice big dent in the door.

    Yes, the cyclist may have a few scratches from his or her own carelessness, but it's _my_ insurance premiums that are going up due to someone elses carelessness. If cyclists want to be treated equally on these roads, then they can start being charged equally and held equally responsible for damage. For what it's worth, I am both a cyclist and a car driver, and yes... I do have insurance for my cycling stuff. Liability up to £3 million if memory serves.

    Now, gerroff my lawn!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jcupitt65 (68879)

      Yes folks, those lovely roads you cycle on are paid from the taxation of motorists

      No they are not, please check your figures. The money raised by fuel duty, road tax and VAT on vehicles does NOT cover the cost of the UK road network. It has to be subsidised by general taxation.

      Cyclists are (usually, heh) tax payers and have as much right to use the road as you do.

  • by dugeen (1224138) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @05:19AM (#28555311) Journal
    Don't shell out vital cash on projectors. Simply improve bicycle safety by keeping off the pavement and stopping at red lights and pedestrian crossings.
  • by dindi (78034) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @10:08AM (#28557209) Homepage

    Where I live (Costa Rica) it is a tidbit better than where I used to live before (Hungary), but generally at both places the sad truth comes down to this:

    1. no one cares/respects bikes
    2. when you are on the sidewalk you are a damn bicycle
    3. when you are on the road you are not a vehicle enough - people would actually pull out in front of you thinking that you are just a bike and will definitely stop easily.... I ended up on the windshield like that once and believe me I have total control over my brakes and the bike as I was racing for years (now doing enduro which is a more high speed activity)
    4. when you are on the bike lane (which is shared/divided by a line from the walking lane) you get people walking on the bike lane and I actually got into a fight over people blocking the way and then making nasty comments when you politely remind them that the pedestrian part of the was is over the line ... (it sucks to tell a dad in front of his family to please not get beaten up by you in front of the whole family and to politely stand down before bad things happen when he runs at you in a fist-fight position)....
    5. If there is no physical protection on the lane it is used to : a: overtake other cars b: park cars

    Well at least in Hungary there is a bicycle lane in the capital (dunno what is up with other cities) and mostly it is a lane divided from the sidewalk, but in Costa Rica there is not even a sidewalk for pedestrians... which sucks as I love to walk to places. Never rode a bicycle here, but have several heated conversation while riding my motorbike and idiots do not respect your way at all.......

    Most bikers generally agree that if something happens here, just gently kick the door/blinkers of the car if an apology does not follow - motocross boots can do some damage with one single kick ...... I personally prefer to confront people and explain to them to respect bikers because one day someone will beat the crap out of them if you push the wrong biker too much. Hitting on the roof and screaming at the driver usually provides them with enough of a shock to look out before turning the next time....

    Back to the topic: maybe in 50 years when we decide to build side walks bigger than 1meter and when these people learn how to keep their own lane.... maybe then.. just maybe we can have projected lanes .... yeah right

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