Trek Bicycle and Tome Software are leading the drive to make roads safer for cyclists. With the support of Ford Motor Company, they’re looking to continue a movement toward an industry standard for active-cycling safety in 2018. Trek and Tome are showcasing the development on an AI-based bicycle-to-vehicle communication system (B2V) at Ford’s booth during the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.
B2V is now adding Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology to its technical roadmap. C-V2X has the potential to help cities around the world create safer, more capable infrastructure and connect vehicles to a larger communications system. It is designed to allow vehicles to directly communicate with other vehicles, pedestrian devices, bikes and roadside infrastructure, such as traffic signs and construction zones. C-V2X also provides opportunities for direct bicycle electronics integration, as well as mobile phone app integration for cyclists.
Originally announced in September 2017, Trek and Tome’s collaboration has now expanded the research and development phase of B2V to include automotive and smart-city integrations, with the goal of reducing the number of cyclists killed and injured on the road. Ford is supporting the work that Trek and Tome are doing to evaluate the technical opportunities and the best user experiences for cyclists on roadways.
Cyclists are an important and growing part of urban mobility and multimodal transportation; and B2V could be critical to the future of safer cycling, where vehicles, devices and the surrounding environment communicate wirelessly.
“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,” said Tome founder and CEO Jake Sigal.
Trek notes that it is in a unique position to lead the development effort as an industry leader with a history of conducting research that has led to a range of products cyclists utilize to enhance their visibility, including electronics and apparel.
“The future for us is moving from a more passive approach to cycling safety and focusing our development on active safety measures,” Trek Electronics Product Manager Scott Kasin said. “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.”
For B2V, Trek will focus on the rider’s user experience and the electronics available to them that will alert drivers to their presence in potentially-dangerous roadway areas. Unlike its existing visibility products, Trek’s B2V-enabled equipment will focus on giving driver alerts directly to approaching vehicles.
The software technology will be licensed to cycling and automotive companies with the aim of becoming an industry standard. While the technology will initially appear in Trek and Bontrager products, the company intends to publish the results of its development going forwards.