Lost in Translation

Written by: Paul Fanning | Published:
I have a front headlight that projects a laser image of a bicycle onto the road in green continuous ...

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​Our roads are busier than ever with drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians all vying for space. It’s no wonder that tempers are lost, and conflicts arise as our ability to communicate is locked behind windscreens and inside helmets – resulting in more than 2,000 cyclists being killed on roads in Europe each year.

But what if our roads don’t have to be a communication vacuum, save for gestures and blaring horns? What if there was a way for cyclists to clearly and safely indicate how they feel, which way they intend to turn or highlight a danger ahead that a following road user may not be able to see.

The challenge

This month’s challenge then is to come up with just such a system. Whether your final design is high- or low-tech, it must be clear to understand in any language, all weather conditions – including at night, and must be able to be operated without the cyclist taking their hands off the handlebars.

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Coffee Time Challenge is just a bit of fun, but it is based on a real engineering solution. If you send in your ideas by using the comment button below, we can add your solution as an alternative – perhaps something funny, practical, cheap or, of course, innovative.

I have a front headlight that projects a laser image of a bicycle onto the road in green continuous or flashing light. If this had adjustable messages and were combined with a flexi display on the back or ruck sack, Any message could be projected to the driver behind. the only difficulty would be compiling the message menu in a way that was effective but didn't cause an accident when trying to use it.

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