Samsung launches bike that makes its own lanes

July 2, 2014

Smartphones have always been able to map out bikers’ routes, but now, thanks to Samsung’s Smart Bike, in the future, they may also help cyclists arrive safely. Launched at Milan Design Week earlier this year, the Samsung Smart Bike is equipped with laser projection, so it can light its own laser-beamed bike lanes.

bike lane

Bike lanes like this one in Vancouver can be hard to come by – so Samsung is helping bikes to make their own. From Paul Krueger.

Some of the other technologically impressive features include a GPS, a rear-facing camera that transmits video to the Samsung smartphone, and an “activist feature” that allows cyclists to track their travels and inform local government about bike lane-less routes. Designed in part by designer Giovanni Pelizzoli and design student Alice Crippa, the bike is currently just a concept, with no plans at present to distribute or sell it. Check out some images from the design’s launch here, and view a video of the bike here.

The bike’s four lasers — two in front, two in back — beam a virtual lane onto the street ahead, to help keep drivers at a safe distance from the cyclist. The bike can turn on the beams automatically by using a light sensor that detects darkness. As Samsung notes, the bike’s “responsive ‘safety-environment’ detects ambient-conditions and protects the driver in real-time; for example, by switching-on or off the laser beams according to the brightness sensor of the paired smartphone.” The laser beams also allow the cyclist to see around dark corners.

Created of curved aluminum tubing, the bike frame helps absorb shock to protect the cyclist. The front of the frame features a magnetic smartphone mount, allowing bikers to track speed, distance and direction via their smartphones, while the rearview camera helps monitor traffic by providing cyclists with a streaming video feed. 

laser bike lanes

Lasers fixed onto the bike will help riders on dark streets stay visible. From The Blaze.

The Smart Bike project is a part of Maestros Academy, co-founded with advertising firm Leo Burnett and Samsung, which endeavors “bridge-building between the master artisans and the younger generations to foster the future of a new generation of italian craftspeople,” as well as to help discover innovative ways to use smartphone technology. Other courses offered include traditional classes in tailoring, pasta making, frame building, wig making and leather craftsmanship.

Biker safety is a major health concern, and it is no coincidence the design hails from Italy. Figures from the country’s National Institute of Statistics reveal that bicycles are the country’s “most unsafe” vehicles, with the highest mortality index. And around the world, biker deaths account for five percent of all road traffic deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

While the Samsung bike remains a concept design for now, other bikes are poised to offer similar features, reports the Daily Mail. A Kickstarter project funded the Canadian Vanhawks Valour smartbike, a carbon fiber bike that offers turn-by-turn navigation by linking Bluetooth and smartphones for directions, has a blind-spot detector that alerts the cyclist to danger via vibrating handlebars, and offers a network-powered theft prevention feature. The bike is now available for purchase online.

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Category: Road safety, Trends

About the Author ()

Katy is a writer, reporter and editor who, in addition to writing for RoadTrafficSigns, has worked with the United Nations Development Programme, Hamptons magazine, Hearst Corporation, The Daily Mail, People Magazine, and a variety of other publications and nonprofits. After graduating with honors from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and distinctions on her thesis and in the consumer journalism seminar, she moved to Milan, Italy. In Italy, she worked as a writer and consultant for an international magazine, editing and translating text and reporting on such events as the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the annual design fair. A born and raised New Yorker, she has lived in three of five boroughs, relying quite a bit on public transport until getting her driver's license at the admittedly belated age of 21.

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