Thursday, October 15, 2009

Honda's Bicycle Simulator for Safe Travels

Speaking of bikes that improve health, look at what Honda has created to teach cyclists about road hazards and proper bike safety - the Honda's Bicycle Simulator. What ever happened to the good old bike rodeos when you took your bike to a closed parking lot and have the police and fire departments, or recreation staff teach you the proper techniques. BTW - We went to one last spring and we got a free (perfectly-fitted) kids helmet, Sweet. The release date is scheduled for February 2010. One of the more interesting bits of technology is a "walking sensor" to detect when the user gets off the bike to simulate walking across an intersection. I wonder if it will be infrared or if there is a sensor in the seat...? Either way, learning how to go to the grocery store or school can now be simulated. Well when you think about where many schools and shopping areas are built (away from typical single family housing and traditional downtown) one might question whether or not the virtual world will in fact help the real world scenario.
[Via Ubergizmo & Honda]

And here is the rest of it.
In recent years, the total number of fatalities from traffic accidents has declined in Japan. However, the ratio of fatalities in accidents involving bicycles has increased. Bicycle riders aged 10 – 19 in and above the age of 50 have the highest chance to get involved in an accident, and approximately 70 percent of bicycle accidents are caused by violation of traffic rules.

Leveraging the know-how accumulated through its activities to promote traffic safety since 1964, Honda has been developing and selling motorcycle and automobile simulators since 1996 and 2001, respectively, as traffic safety educational devices which enable users to safely experience the risks based on real-world traffic situations. By offering these simulators, Honda’s goal is to improve people’s ability to predict risks and increase safety awareness. Striving to realize a richer mobility society in the future, Honda developed the Honda Bicycle Simulator as an educational tool for a wider range of people.

Key features of the Honda Bicycle Simulator
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· Compact design (length 2,270mm × height 1,400mm × width 990mm, weight 88kg)
· Equipped with monitors to check right/left and behind.
· Equipped with a “walking sensor” which recognizes the user’s action of walking the bicycle.

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· Contains different courses such as “going to school,” “going to the grocery store,” “going to cram school” and “going to a local shopping street” to offer realistic experiences for user groups of different ages.
· Contains a course for the user to learn traffic laws and manners to ride a bicycle in mixed traffic.
· After the simulation, the rider’s path can be reviewed from multiple vantage points – above/below and right/left – and the riding situation and evaluation will be displayed on the monitor.

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