Stay Outta My Lane

A close brush with a distracted driver is enough to intimidate any avid bicycler from riding at night. You’ve probably seen small blinkers and flashers tucked just below the seat but that isn’t enough. As a daily driver in a very bike friendly city, I can attest I usually don’t notice those blinkers until I’m within a few hundred yards of the bicycler. That leaves very little distance and time to react if I were to collide with them.

Only a small fraction of streets have dedicated bike lanes, and with an installation cost of $5,000 – $50,000 per mile, we shouldn’t expect to find them everywhere anytime soon. LightLane projects a crisply defined virtual bike lane onto pavement, using a laser, providing the driver with a familiar boundary to avoid. With a wider margin of safety, bikers will regain their confidence to ride at night, making the bike a more viable commuting alternative. I want one now. Evan and Alex, make it and call me!

Designers: Evan Gant & Alex Tee

108 Comments

  • kilian says:

    great approach to a really relevant problem! but i think by day, cars also come close…

  • Lamah says:

    Hm, it seems like a red light on the back of the bike would be visible over much greater distances by virtue of its height above the road. Wouldn’t you have to be nearly on top of the bike to see this projected bike lane..?

  • Joeri says:

    great idea! Have to agree a bit with the above comments though.
    And do you have a solution for corners and turns?

  • kard says:

    @Lamah – not really… if you’re down the block from a street light, you can still see the light on the ground from that lamp–even a block away, right? same thing.

  • Pitch Klein says:

    @kard. Unfortunately, street lamps are way more powerful and energy demanding than a battery powered led… I say, I’d love this to actually be useful, but the truth is, you may see the lanes only on a dark night, in absence of any other light

    • You are right the street light is powerful but this gadget using laser beams instead of led light so it can be seen not only in darknight but also in daylight

    • You are right the street light is powerful but this gadget using laser beams instead of led light so it can be seen not only in darknight but also in daylight

      • zippyflounder says:

        simple expriement proves the case, in this case its a no go. I suggest you go out turn on your cars headlights and then aim your laser pointer (a power output that is likely to be used here for power consumption and leagal aspects) at the ground, note where you can see your dot. You willfind that they are not as “bright” as you think.

        • Actually you are right. I was thinking the powerful green (that can burn the human skin) should work but even if it works that increase the cost of product. But i don't know whether the green laser can be seen under car headlights or not. Does anybody try this i am curios.But i am sure that leds never do that.

        • Actually you are right. I was thinking the powerful green (that can burn the human skin) should work but even if it works that increase the cost of product. But i don’t know whether the green laser can be seen under car headlights or not. Does anybody try this i am curios.But i am sure that leds never do that.

    • j nazty says:

      not true. i see laser pointers (same technology as this) in broad daylight. and especially at night, even in well lit room or on a movie theaters.

      • Pitch Klein says:

        I don’t agree. The intensity of light that a simple laser pointer can provide is not comparable to that of a street lamp, not to mention that of the day light. You can see it in a cinema or on a dark road at night, but the product here is proposed for an urban scenario. Although I’d like it to work, I still think this particular solution is not very useful.

  • slag says:

    Good idea. But I wonder what the relative cost of some sort of physical barrier might be. It seems that either one might work for this purpose.

  • Chung Dha says:

    The idea is cool but does not work due to that the driver close dont see the ground. Also I think you need a pretty powerful laser light to get it to work optimal. Cause LED can do good straight shine against drivers but as a reflective ligthsource to bright up things at night they are not that strong for that.

  • Enoch says:

    I love how the rider in the picture is not wearing a helmet… and the product is to improve safety for bikers. Still a cool idea, although I don’t see how it shining a light on the road will be visible to other vehicles.

  • zippyflounder says:

    ok we know it will not work, first a driver view lines would only allow them to see the lines on the road from 40 feet back or more. The light is monted on the bike meaning that the “projector” is moving like the bike does, all over the place, sometimes projecting into the drivers eyes others to the people on the sidewalk.

    Here fun bit of trivia, there are 2 us utility patents granted for suparluminairy led flashing safty lights (blinkly tail lights) one was granted to your fishy freind here, the other to a buddy of mine with a asian last name…..enjoy.

  • John says:

    Here’s an idea – buy a better taillight.

    Performance sells a 9 led light for under $20

    Cateye sells a 11 led light for under $30

    Planet Bike sells one with a single high intensity (1 watt) flashing light.

    All are visible for over a half mile. That gives you 30 seconds to react to the presence of something in the road ahead of you that has a red or amber flashing light. Count out 30 seconds. If you can’t react to something in that time, then you would have already killed yourself driving into the side of a building or a truck.

  • Man, I can’t help but feel irritated as I read the comments. The folks commenting seem to be straining to critique every detail of this concept.

    I think it’s a great idea, and depending on the price and size/weight of the contraption I would considering buying it.

    I take this concept more as a playful and philosophical comment on the interplay between cars and bikes — not a once-and-for-all safety solution.

    • zippyflounder says:

      1. its unworkable, for it to work you would need to.
      a. stablize the led’s that project the image in 2 axis, roll and yaw.
      b. adress the issue of when in a turn the high intensity light would not blind the driver..your turing a corner onto a side street your “beam” beam crosses the sight line of a driver going through a intersection..whammo.
      c. realize a driver that is most likely to infringe on a rider would not even be able to see the cute little lines on the pavement because they are going to be 10-15 feet behind or less and more worried about the car or trucks brake lights ahead of them. The flashing led tail light has saved thousands of riders and is one of the products i am most proud of inventing.

      given just a and b’s requirments and it

  • Eric says:

    Unfortunately for this product my city already has dedicated bike lanes painted on the street…

  • Lutefisky says:

    Brilliant idea. I would not rely on this alone but with other lights, a helmet and continued lobbying for more dedicated lanes. Build it and I’ll buy it.

  • 94hw says:

    very funny and useful

  • lammy says:

    it user a laser. not an LED. laser light is very bright in dark conditions, hence it is perfect for dark areas where there is little ambient light. you don’t need to rely solely on this when there are streetlights around, because those do an ok job of lighting the rider. i love the idea, every little bit helps.

  • zippyflounder says:

    so lets say this is made to work, what happens when you have 2/3/4 or more all the over lapping lines, and graphics…its a no go

  • Eric says:

    The best part about this posting is that all we see is a picture of it’s “result.” Where is the product we are talking about? 😉

  • coldarchon says:

    yeah the picture looks nice, anyone ever tried to imagine about the shaking of a bicycle ..

    • zippyflounder says:

      zippy did

      • James Bo Bames says:

        Zippy your such a hater! lol

        It may not be practical, and making it work will probably prove to be more trouble than it’s worth…

        But face it, it’s a cool idea isn’t it?

        You know you wish it worked lol.

        • zippyflounder says:

          nope its a stupid idea for the listed reasons. I am not a hater perse, just call em like i see them.

  • carl says:

    this is fraud. its a lie, there is no cycle track. When bikes start paying to use the roads they can have more cycle lanes. i pay to use the roads, so bikes can get bent.

    • Eric says:

      How do you pay to use the road? Taxes? Bike riders pay taxes too!

    • Typical victim of car culture mentality. FAIL! Fortunately you’re not in charge of putting in bike lanes.

    • James Bo Bames says:

      I’m with ya Carl.

      Unlike the haters I realize that a nice chunk of what I pay for gas is infrastructure related taxes.

      Roads, bridges, streetlights?

      All paid for in oil. Which cyclists often despise… bet they won’t even wanna ride their bikes on our streets after leaning that! :)

      • Eric says:

        That chunk you refer to is “nice” in size because it’s designed to encourage users to switch to more efficient methods (look up fuel tax.) Because it’s a regressive tax, there is every need to encourage more efficient methods using that revenue to support things like bike lanes. People pay taxes on every gallon purchased and never have to cross that bridge it’s being used for down the street. So don’t tell me someone who has to drive to work 20 miles away, wont also appreciate a safe way to get to the gym 10 blocks away -pollution free. Point is the tax is designed to benefit all, not just the selfish.

        • Eric says:

          P.s. That means everyone’s streetlights, bridges and roads were not paid for with oil. It was paid for with taxes on oil. Those taxes can be applied to anything though (like hydrogen refueling stations for example.) Oil is the reason for a lot of things (greed, environmental decay) but it can’t be blamed for everything…

    • Stainless Steel Bisc says:

      I didn't know trolls could get driving licenses.

    • Stainless Steel Biscuit says:

      I didn’t know trolls could get driving licenses.

  • Stainless Steel Bisc says:

    Isn't there some rule here that requires an image of the concept itself? I guess not.

  • Vince says:

    shouldn’t the guy in the picture have normal bike lights anyway? maybe if they had those, he wouldn’t be so scared of getting knocked off!

    ( i am an avid cyclist, before the flames begin :) )

  • Stainless Steel Biscuit says:

    Isn’t there some rule here that requires an image of the concept itself? I guess not.

    • kumikosan says:

      That is an image of the concept don’t you think? Isn’t the lane projected on the ground the beauty of it? I think that trumps an image of a backpainted swoopy plastic housing.

      I think this is a great idea. It’s not just to show drivers that there is a bike ahead, but it shows how much space cyclists need for safe riding. Anyways, it’s much better than my standard method of giving the driver the finger.

      • Eric says:

        The projector is the product, not the projection. There should be photos of both.

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  • Jom says:

    Highly commendable concept. I think this will prod more people to use a bike if road safety is the concern.

  • Orange Leader says:

    “I can attest I usually don’t notice those blinkers until I’m within a few hundred yards of the bicycler. That leaves very little distance and time to react if I were to collide with them.

    AFTER you collide with the biker, it’s a little late to react. Silly blogger.

    But this seems like a great product idea to me. I’d buy at least one to try out. If it seemed to work well, i’d buy 3 more (if I could afford them).

  • surfaruba says:

    As a cyclist I believe that any gadget that can make your riding safer is welcome. Make it and it will be purchased

  • berns says:

    the idea is nice and I’m sure it could find a good use in any other way, but to make a biker-lane visible…I doubt.
    Wouldnt it be more efficient to make the single bicyclist more visibe?

    what about, if they would ad some fluorescent in the colour of the marking-line – and it would stay loomy when passing cars flash the line with headlights.

    greets, berns

  • max says:

    where shop or website for buy?
    thanks

  • John says:

    It’s very innovative and kinda of fun, but not necessarily effective.

Comments are closed.