In the United States, two people are killed every day in cycling-related accidents. In a bid to save lives while still encouraging more people to take up two-wheeled transportation, students at the Bio­med­ical Mecha­tronics Lab­o­ra­tory worked with mechanical and indus­trial engi­neering professor Con­stan­tinos Mavroidis to cre­ate a “Smart Bike” called the Inter­ac­tive Bicy­clist Acci­dent Pre­ven­tion System, or iBAPS.

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The prototype bicycle is com­prised of two 3D-printed con­soles, both of which are attached to the front and back of the bicycle. Each section con­tains two proximity sen­sors that are able to detect a cyclist’s dis­tance from nearby objects. The consoles are also able to project a vir­tual bicycle lane on either side of the bicycle, using lasers, to stress the cyclist’s safe zone on the street.

If a vehicle was to enter this ‘safe zone’, then the lasers would blink. If it dangerously close, then the sensors will trigger a built-in speaker to alert all parties.

For the cyclist, the iBAPS has vibrating handlebars which shake if a cyclist is going too fast as they approach an intersection. Statistically, these are one of the most dan­gerous areas for bike users.

The entire system can also be synced with a smartphone app, via Bluetooth, in order to pro­vide lon­gi­tu­dinal data to show cyclists how their behavior changes over time and indi­cate their level of safe biking habits. Stu­dent Mari­etta Alcover says that they hope “the smart­phone app will work with the phone’s GPS to send a signal to the front con­sole every time the bicycle is approaching an inter­sec­tion and not slowing down.”

The iBAPS project has already earned the MIE Cap­stone Award for biggest impact, as well as a $5,000 Provost Under­grad­uate Research Award. This year, the team hopes to fur­ther develop the smart­phone appli­ca­tion, test the pro­to­type, col­lect field data, and improve the design.

“I truly believe this has huge com­mer­cial poten­tial,” Mavroidis said. “It is an inno­v­a­tive and useful tool that is needed by the market.”

Via Northeastern News/

Images Brooks Canaday/Northeastern University