Laser technology makes cycling safer
9 December 2013Tweet
Blaze Laserlight illustrative credit: Blaze
A University of Brighton graduate has invented a bicycle light based on laser technology to make cyclists safer. The Blaze Laserlight uses a green laser to project an image of a bike five to six metres onto the road ahead. It is designed to alert vehicles of unseen cyclists and to prevent drivers from turning across their path.
In November, the team behind Blaze, won £10,000 in The National Association of College and University Entrepreneur’s (NACUE) Varsity Pitch Grand Final. The team plans to use the money to fund scientific research into driver perception, including retina tracking and reaction times, to prove that the Laserlight will help to reduce cycling accidents.
Emily Brooke, founder and CEO of Blaze who graduated from the University of Brighton, developed the Laserlight after discovering that 79 per cent of cycle accidents occur when a vehicle turns into a cyclist who is in their blind spot. By projecting the bicycle symbol onto the road ahead, the Laserlight gives the cyclist a bigger footprint on the road and alerts drivers ahead of a cyclist’s presence.
The Laserlight is, first and foremost, a white LED with an output of 300 lumen in the brightest mode. The laser image is projected by a separate diode inside the light that can be switched on and off independently.
A green light is used to project the cycle image because the human eye is most receptive to light of that wavelength. The laser has been tested to confirm that it does not damage the retina.
Both the white light and the green laser can be activated independently and both have an optional flashing mode, which extends the battery life to approximately 13 hours.
The first Laserlight devices will be available for delivery in January, but the team plans to continue to improve the product after receiving £10,000 in prize money from the NACUE competition. With this funding, research into driver perception will be carried out, which will produce tangible data in order to show that the product does in fact reduce accidents.