On a mission to improve urban cycling, a clever lighting device called Laserlight hopes to prevent collisions and save lives by visually alerting pedestrians and drivers to oncoming bicycles at night. Attached to the bike’s handlebars, Laserlight projects a bike icon onto the street about 20 feet in front of the cyclist. For a pedestrian crossing the street between parked cars, such a light could make all the difference between walking into danger and waiting for a cyclist to pass.
These projection devices will soon be put to the test on the streets of New York City, where 250 Laserlights will be piloted on Citi Bikes. The bikeshare program hopes the green projections will help convince safety-conscious riders to give Citi Bike a try.
Created by the U.K.-based bike accessories company Blaze, the Laserlight first launched in 2012 with a Kickstarter campaign that was fully funded in just five days. And on London’s streets, the product has already proven its value.
“She must’ve seen my Laserlight,” British bike rider David Wynter recounts a near-hit experience with a driver, in the short film below profiling Laserlight users.
“Because there’s no way known she could’ve seen me. I certainly didn’t see her. I heard her accelerate and then hit the brakes almost instantly. And she missed my knee by about six inches.”