At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a new technology developed in a collaboration with Trek Bicycles and Tome Software was on display in the Ford Motors booth that is intended to reduce the number of cyclists killed and injured on the road. The three companies are working to make bicycle better communicate with cars. This is made possible because sophisticated sensors and computers making their way into vehicles. The Trek and Tome are developing an artificial intelligence based bicycle to vehicle communication system called B2V.
The technology allows vehicles to communicate with other road users like vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists as well as traffic infrastructures like traffic signs and construction zones. The intent is to connect vehicles to a larger communication system helping to ensure the environment can be more safely navigated. B2V works using Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) so cars and bicycles can communicate with each other.
The technology could be built into cycling specific electronics like lights and computers or be downloaded through a cellular app. The project was originally announced in Sept. 2017 but has now gone into the research and development phase with the automotive and smart-city integrations being explored.
Ford is collaborating with the research to help evaluate the opportunities the technology presents and give cyclists on roadways the best user experience. “Ford has been supportive of our mission to make cycling safer since day one and we all understand how important it is that B2V technology is open and shared,” Tome founder and CEO said Jake Sigal.
In recent years, Trek has pushed to make cycling safer with high visibility clothing and lights. The UCI WorldTour team Trek-Segrafedo wears a high-vis training kit with their bikes equipped with lights on all their rides in 2018.
“The future for us is moving from a more passive approach to cycling safety and focusing our development on active safety measures,” explained Trek electronics product manager Scott Kasin. “We want to ensure that while cyclists have the tools and knowledge to do what they can to create a safer experience, they will now have the enhanced ability to communicate their presence directly to vehicles.”
B2V is planned to initially appear in Trek and Bontrager products.