This High-Tech Helmet Shows Cyclists the Best Bike Route in a City

The Google Glass-like prototype highlights safer routes for riders.

The “Heads-Up Display” helmet designed by Future Cities Catapult

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

Cyclist injuries and fatalities are high in London, where about half a million people use bikes as their key mode of transportation. In 2013, 14 cyclists died and 475 were seriously injured during bike journeys in Central London. To adapt to both the growing number of cycling commuters and the relentless car and foot traffic of the city, London-based Future Cities Catapult has designed a Google Glass-like helmet prototype that could help cyclists be more aware of their surroundings and highlight the safest routes in their travels.

The idea is that cyclists could more easily navigate when one cycle path bleeds into another, giving riders data in real time rather than tasking them with memorizing a safe bike route through data on apps such as City Mapper. This kind of digital “soft infrastructure” seeks to take advantage of both modern technology and existing urban infrastructure.

The helmet visor, dubbed the Heads-Up Display, gives push notifications as well as the potential to develop “imaginability” for a given route, using local benchmarks to help make the routes more memorable to riders. Other prototypes include a handlebar device that would assess air quality and pollution for cyclists, as well as a blind-spot recognition device that could alert cyclists to areas where bus drivers, for example, can’t see a space from a certain angle.

Future Cities Catapult has experience with connecting technology and navigation. Its designers worked with Microsoft last year on a device to help blind city-dwellers get around London.

“This kind of tech won’t solve the problem singlehandedly — that may require more concerted efforts by regulators — but the blind-spot visualization mock-up suggests different things that so-called ‘machine-to-machine’ tech could do. Small things that might help,” Dan Hill, chief design officer at Future Cities Catapult, told Dezeen.

See how the prototype works in this video.

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Marielle Mondon is an editor and freelance journalist in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia City Paper, Wild Magazine, and PolicyMic. She previously reported on communities in Northern Manhattan while earning an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.

Follow Marielle .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tags: bikingbike safety

Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 1106 other sustainers such as:

  • Anonymous in Cleveland, OH at $5/Month
  • Bruce in Muncie, IN at $60/Year
  • John in Dayton, OH at $120/Year

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year magazine

has donated ! Thank you 🎉