This new headlight will make cyclists more visible to drivers

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Having been both a bike commuter and a recreational cyclist for years, I’m well acquainted with the dangers of riding at night. You can don a fluorescent jersey, wear umpteen reflective accents, and outfit your bike with the most powerful lights known to man, and you’ll still get drivers swerving into your space. If only I had a protective bubble around myself and my ride.

Michelin is working on one part of that problem. While it doesn’t offer any level of physical protection, the Michelin Bikesphere headlight does encapsulate your bike in a ring of light.

During the day, the toolacts as a normal headlight (just like on cars, running lights during the day has beenproven to improve visibilityand thus reduce risk of accident for cyclists). At night, the light switches gears and projects a red ring around the rider. When it detects a vehicle is approaching, that light intensifies, doublingup to two rings encirclingthe bike.

The device is partof the tire company’s crowdfundedTrendy Drivers initiative, which aims to change driver habits and reduce accidents. (And be “cool” at the same time, we assume.) Michelin will give 6,000 Euros to the best user-submitted Trendy Drivers ideas;Bikesphere is the first project greenlit bythe initiative.

The Bikesphere lightisn’t the first of its kind. In fact, it’s quite similar toBlaze’s Laserlight, which debuted last year. The Laserlight uses laser technology to project an icon of a bicyclist 20 feet ahead of a rider. Like Michelin’s approach, this is designed to help both drivers and pedestrians realize that a bike rider is approaching. The Laserlightcosts 125 (roughly $159).

It’s currently unclear how much the Bikesphere will cost, or when (if ever) it will go on sale. However, there is one thing I hope the Bikesphere would consider adjusting before it ships. If you’re going to project an outline around a cyclist, why not extend its perimeter to three feet (to go along with the “three-foot rule” implemented in manystates)? Highlighting your existence and thelegally determined appropriate passing distance at night? Now that’s an idea I can get behind.

H/T Designboom

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