Being a cyclist on the road means trusting drivers to pay attention and give you enough space for your safety and their own. One of the leading causes of car accidents that involve cyclists is when the driver of the motorized vehicle passes too closely to cyclists. Too often vehicles are left relatively unscathed by these encounters and can drive away, while cyclists are more vulnerable to damage and bodily harm.
German startup Dashfactory has come up with a device to address this issue: the Dashbike taillight. This taillight is water-resistant, GPS-equipped taillight, and functions as a bright taillight that can be mounted under the seat of the bike or on the seat post. What makes this taillight special is how it automatically records video of any vehicles that pass the bicycle way too closely.
For an informative and accurate recording, it has an integrated wide-angle HD camera and microphone and an ultrasonic proximity sensor to measure the distance between itself and passing cars. The footage is generally recorded in a loop, with the most recent video overwriting previous recordings. If a vehicle passes the cyclist with less than 1.5 meters between the two, then that footage is saved on the device’s internal memory. If the cyclist falls, the video records the minutes that come before the incident.
If an accident has indeed taken place, then the video can be used in court as evidence of what really happened. Additionally, with the user’s consent, their geotagged footage can be sent anonymously to city officials so that they are aware of areas where motorists are passing cyclists too closely and can then determine whether changes to the road itself should be made to make travel safer.
Biking is a healthier means of transport than a motorized vehicle, for both us and the planet. Ensuring that people who are able to bike can feel safe enough to choose biking over driving is another step towards a greener and more sustainable world.