08 April 2009
As one door closes, another knocks you off
In the latest issue of New Scientist is an article about a cyclist-detecting car door being developed by BMW. If sensors detect an object nearby as the door is opened, the door opening is automatically damped.
At the moment the technology can only detect lampposts, but they're working on the detection of more convenient forms of transport such as bikes.
To make things even easier for lazy drivers, they could add an automatic recorded announcement that shouts at the cyclist and complains that we don't pay road tax.
In that curious management jargon that equates technology with pastry, BMW hasn't yet made a decision whether to 'roll it out'.
Meanwhile there are still terrible contraflow cycle lanes that force you to run the door-opening gauntlet of parked cars, such as the one in Ebury St (right).
There's a straightforward low-tech solution - make all one-way roads two-way for cyclists and make the speed limit 15mph - but few politicians are going to stick their neck out on that one. Unless German engineering can come up with a problem-sensing device for political necks.