Usually when I think about bicycle safety my mind wanders to huge egg shaped helmets, roasting my head on a hot summer days… but when Ethan Frier and Johnathan Ota think safety on two wheels, they somehow make it very cool. The two industrial design students at Carnegie Mellon University came up with a wheel mounted lighting system that is not only a good safety feature, it makes you look like you’re riding a Light Cycle from Tron too.
Called Project Aura, the two students created the project as an answer to the high percentage of bicycle accidents during the evening hours and the current lack of lights that provide side illumination. The prototype was meticulously hand built, using a front wheel dynamo for power and 6 RGB LED’s embedded in the wheel rims. The LED’s cleverly change from red to white as the bike speeds up cluing traffic to your speed and adding to the cool factor.
For more on the construction of the Small Undergraduate Research Grant funded project, cruise by surg2011.tumblr.com.
Frier even illustrated a well made infographic about the project, detailing the times when bicyclists are most at risk. Check out the full sized PDF here or by clicking the image below.