LightLane: Personal Bicycle Lane
One big fear of some bicycle commuters is riding at night. In Massachusetts, it is illegal to ride a bicycle at night without proper lighting on both the front and back of your bicycle (a red reflector is accepted for the back). Besides being against the law, it is simply a matter of safety to be visible at all times when riding your bicycle. Even when cyclists are following the rules, they may still be difficult to see. There are many ways to combat this from vests, to lights (typical/not so typical), to the bicycle equivalent of low-rider undercarriage lights…whatever that is above. Since the average bicycle is fairly difficult to see in low light, inventors have been attempting to come up with innovative ways to make night riding safer and, in most cases, less hideous.
Enter the LightLane. The LightLane is a combination of a typical rear light and two lasers that create a personal bicycle lane surrounding your bicycle. This would provide drivers with a reference point and a visual cue to the whereabouts of bicycle riders traveling in low light areas. When riding on the side of the road, it would have the same effect as the painted bicycle lanes used by many commuters during the day. The idea won an International Design Excellence Award in 2009 and is still in prototype status.
As you can see in the video below there is still a bit of work to do. The lasers are a bit weak and thin, but the proof of concept appears to be strong especially with the renewed interest in cycling.