Backtracker — a Dragon Innovation crowdfunded project — is a two-part device designed by the Ikubu team that offers cyclists a sixth sense when out on the open road.
Truth be told, cycling along the road comes with several associated risks. Being hit from behind is an increasing danger for bikers on today’s crowded roadways; in fact, 726 casualties occurred in 2013, up 6.5 percent from the previous year.
“Backtracker’s journey began back in 2010, when we asked ourselves how we could create the best and safest cycling experience possible. As bikers ourselves, we knew firsthand that the thrill of taking on the road with two wheels was too often compromised by the fear of an unaware motorist,” a company rep explains.
In hopes of providing a safer cycling experience, Backtracker has the ability to provide the speed and distance of rear-approaching vehicles from up to 150 yards away.
The device consists of two modules — one which is mounted on the seat post, and contains a 24-GHz radar antenna, an ARM processor and a 40-lumen tail light, while the other sits on the handlebars and communicates via BLE. As you could see from the video above, the taillight will switch from its regular slow blinking mode to one that’s a bit more rapid, in order to catch the attention of nearing motorist. The contraption’s front-mounted traffic indicator uses a series of LEDs to notify the rider of nearby vehicles. When not alerting the rider of incoming vehicles, the product houses an intelligent backlight system which utilizes an LED to caution cars of your presence.
Backtracker has been in the development since 2010, and the design team will be looking to manufacture more test units as well as further commercialize their product in the near future. If you’re interested in learning more about Backtracker, you can head to the project’s Dragon Innovation page here.