Novel Collision-Avoidance System for Bicycles

Principal Investigator:

Rajesh Rajamani, Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Project Summary:

More than 48,000 bicyclist-motorist crashes occur each year in the United States. Many of these crashes occur because the motorist either is inattentive and does not see the bicyclist, or the bicyclist behaves in an unpredictable manner. This project is developing and evaluating a sensor suite for a bicycle that can predict imminent bicycle-motorist crashes. The system provides an audio warning of a bicycle's presence to a motorist by sounding a loud horn. The system also uses a custom sonar sensor with a triad transducer system for detecting potential side crashes from vehicles near the bicycle. A laser sensor mounted on a rotational platform tracks rear vehicles and predicts rear collisions. Active rotational control of the laser sensor is used to track a moving rear vehicle with lateral and longitudinal motion. Researchers are using a bicycle instrumented with these sensors and electronics for experimental evaluation of the developed system. Tests are being conducted with a variety of real cars at real-world intersections close to the University of Minnesota campus.

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