The video above paints a realistically dark picture for bikers, and it should, since it comes from AXA, the insurance company. Cars are noise, bikes are silent, and no matter what technology we create to make cars safer, they don’t always mean bikers will be. So what’s the solution? Innovative thinking and guerrilla tactics!
The Smart Bell, designed by AXA Poland, is a rather unique gadget. I understand I gave the trick away in the title, but think about it. Bike bells are dainty, and often go unheard. What the Smart Bell does is that it hooks to your current bike bell and beams out an audio signal via RDS (Radio Data System) to all other vehicles close by, so cars near you hear the Bell through their in-car sound systems. No matter if the car has the radio running, or is listening to music via their audio system, it pauses to play the bell sound from the bike beside you. A little invasive? A small trade-off to avoid a fatal accident (more than 4500 bicyclists die every year due to road accidents). The Smart Bell, that mounts on the back of the bike, even comes with an illuminating disc that serves as a tail-light.
The device isn’t really available on the shelf yet, since it was more part of a strategy to raise awareness (and get the word going about bike insurance), but the word really seems to be picking up. The technology (of being able to beam signals into other vehicles) is getting a great response from the public, so maybe we’ll see this somewhere in the future! However, if you’re from Poland, you can sign up for a Smart Bell here!
Designer: FCB (for AXA Poland)