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Synchronized lights - looks cool, but is it safer?

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Synchronized lights - looks cool, but is it safer?

Old 06-14-19, 02:56 PM
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tyrion
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Synchronized lights - looks cool, but is it safer?


https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/bike-swarm/overview/
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Old 06-14-19, 03:15 PM
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Maelochs
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Not seeing where crickets and fireflies have to worry about colliding with automobiles. Not seeing where pulsing lights are going to attract that much more attention. Can see where this is one more expensive product, and more wifi, and thus more batteries, for at best minuscule increases in safety.

These people should have studied bike accidents. Had they they would have learned that head-on collisions are not a serious bike-safety issue, and that cars almost never drive into packs of cyclists---and when they do so it is generally deliberate, or the result of intoxication, or both.

If these "inventors" had listened to birds, they would have found that birds take turns .... as they awaken and join the morning chorus, each bird adds his or her cry to the end of an ongoing cycle of calls. So learning form nature, they should have devised an algorithm whereby each light flashed in sequence, and new riders were added to the end of the sequence as they reached the intersection. After all, look how infrequently cars hit birds.
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Old 06-14-19, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
But is it safer?
Stay tuned....

But the Media Lab is very much antidisciplinary. What can be implemented? What are the implications? They ask questions, but may not have the answers you seek. They encourage YOU to find answers. (The UU’s of the geek world.)

So they throw spaghetti at the wall. What sticks?

Stay tuned....

However, even a small peloton is a large vehicle. No other large vehicle blinks out of phase. (Think turn signals and hazards.)

My bike “headlight” doesn’t even know what my “taillight” is doing. (From the videos, neither do theirs.)

Aside: If nothing else, clearly the cacophony of blinkies is clearly undesirable in even a small peloton.

-mr. bill

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Old 06-14-19, 04:35 PM
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CliffordK
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I prefer solid front lights and blinking in the rear.

Harsh front blinking is very distracting, but the more sinusoidal dimming/brighter is at least tolerable.

As far as synchronized... What's the point. Cool looking? I don't see any true benefit to it. And, it may make it more difficult to discern group size (especially if perhaps it is only 2 riders together).
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Old 06-14-19, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I prefer solid front lights and blinking in the rear.

Harsh front blinking is very distracting, but the more sinusoidal dimming/brighter is at least tolerable.

As far as synchronized... What's the point. Cool looking? I don't see any true benefit to it. And, it may make it more difficult to discern group size (especially if perhaps it is only 2 riders together).
To make the group appear as one large entity, which might affect car drivers' behaviour and (hopefully) make them less arrogant ?
it should be taillights though
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Old 06-14-19, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by holytrousers View Post
To make the group appear as one large entity, which might affect car drivers' behaviour and (hopefully) make them less arrogant ?
it should be taillights though
So ... the driver will think he is seeing a single gigantic vehicle and not a bunch of bikes and will be afraid to hit it?

Yeah, I bet the stats show that clearly.

Blinking headlights are great during the day but at night can paint a confusing picture if they go form complete dark to bright light. Even dimming/swelling headlights can create the illusion of movement and uncertainty as the shadows move across the landscape.

As far as blinkies in pelotons, taillights blinking in unison would still be blinking ... and in my experience only the bike directly in front is an issue.

This is a wonderful solution to a non-existent problem. Even the people promoting it cannot explain why it is better than the current alternatives.
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Old 06-14-19, 09:11 PM
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The promoters are not claiming that their product - synchronized lights - provides any added safety benefit; only that synchronized lights can be done and it looks cool/neato.
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Old 06-14-19, 09:20 PM
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The lights stay at full strength while riding alone, but the lights sync and pulse when other bikes with the same lights get together?

So, the reason for bikes owned by individuals to have this technology is what? (legitimate question)

Might be fun for group rides or rental fleets.

Could be annoying for any other reason. I can imagine that I'm pedaling along and my light starts pulsing because a stranger got near me.

Yeah, I want to become a swarming creature like an insect, that's it.
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Old 06-16-19, 06:36 AM
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Moe Zhoost
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I can't see that pulsing lights would be any safer than continuous lights in such an organized, slow-moving, well-illuminated group such as that shown.

"Synchronized" continuous lighting is easier to engineer, too.
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Old 06-16-19, 07:18 AM
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Looks like a fun idea. Absolutely no impact on safety though.
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Old 06-17-19, 01:06 AM
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Just confuses drunks.
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Our streets are paved with onions...the drivers aren't tarping
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Old 06-20-19, 08:04 PM
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I think a group of bike lights would be more visible if their lights are naturally chaotic. Or are, as the case is already. This idea can't be pedalled as anything other than a gimmick from what I can see.
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Old 09-26-19, 03:52 PM
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Media Lab has been in the news for other than A&S reasons, however....



Kickstarter started.


-mr. bill
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Old 09-27-19, 08:18 AM
  #14  
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Wouldn't it be cool if all bicycle strobe lights around the world were perfectly synchronized?
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Old 09-27-19, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
I think a group of bike lights would be more visible if their lights are naturally chaotic.
I think you're right. Think of an emergency vehicle... an ambulance for instance. More attention is gotten by having the emergency lights all over it flashing out of sequence rather than having them all flashing at the same time.
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Old 09-30-19, 07:15 AM
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Don't know what I think about the pulsing, I'd probably find it annoying unless there is sufficient ambient light. I do like the downtube lightstrip though -- I guess it's not very practical being behind the front wheel and whatnot...but it looks cool...
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