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 US. 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 therefore developing and evaluating a sensor suite for a bicycle that can predict imminent bicycle-motorist crashes and provide an audio warning of the bicycle's presence to a motorist by sounding a loud horn. The sensor system utilizes a custom sonar sensor with a triad transducer system for detecting potential side crashes from vehicles near the bicycle. It also utilizes a laser sensor mounted on a rotational platform for tracking rear vehicles and predicting rear collisions. Active rotational control of the laser sensor is used to track a moving rear vehicle with lateral and longitudinal motion. A bicycle instrumented with the above sensors and electronics is being used for experimental evaluation of the developed system. The 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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