The new Velo AI Copilot bike light uses AI to keep cyclists safe.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a divisive topic in the world as its influence is having an increasingly large impact on everyday life. This effect has also made an impact in the world of cycling where it is used to help professional riders recover and refuel, while everyday cyclists will encounter it through apps like Strava. Now an American company called Velo AI has introduced a bike light that uses the power of AI in the name of safety to keep cyclists safe on the road.

The light in question, Copilot, does the obvious job of helping cyclists be visible to road users, except it does so in a unique AI-powered way. According to Velo AI, through inbuilt smart sensors, it “can sense when a vehicle is safely communicating with a cyclist passing by or detects an aggressive or distracted driver approaching dangerously”.

This information alone isn’t particularly useful, but it’s the way in which Roshni uses it that’s interesting. For a start, the light will change color or pattern in an effort to draw the driver’s attention to the cyclist, which it says “should help prevent accidents before they happen”.

An important part of the safety equation is the cyclist who is often not aware of what is happening behind them, after all it is not easy to look back while riding ahead. Copilot provides the solution by providing what CEO Clark Haynes describes as the “sixth sense.” Whenever a car is approaching or overtaking, the rider receives audible alerts to warn them. The light can also be paired with a smartphone, at which point it will also provide a visual alert, although the phone will obviously need to be mounted on the handlebars.

The product, which has been in development for some time now, will go on sale in December 2023, but will be available for shipping this month, and is inspired by the company’s desire to protect cyclists from accidents. Which he says basically backwards

“40 percent of accidents and fatalities are caused by rear-end collisions,” said Alison Trister, Velo AI’s chief of staff, on its social media channels. “The more we can make drivers aware and the more attention we can draw to the cyclist, hopefully both parties will be more prepared to avoid any type of accident.”

The bike also has an inbuilt camera that can capture footage, like a rear-facing dash cam, which can be downloaded or tagged with moments of interest, like the Velo AI companion app. A close encounter.

It’s the latest example of AI being used to improve cycling safety with 19 companies joining forces in late 2023 to form the ‘Alliance for Cyclist Safety’, which aims to To lead the deployment and expansion of V2X communication technology. ) within the cycling industry. A form of AI communication technology, V2X is used throughout the automotive industry and allows vehicles to transmit critical information that can be used to relay any potential hazards on the road. Canyon also announced its intention to integrate V2X technology into certain e-bikes from 2026.

You can learn more about Copilot on the Velo AI website.

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