Whether you are for or against the new Citi Bike system, it appears that for the time being it is here to stay. With the new influx of cyclists Citi Bike is likely to lead to, it is important to keep safety in mind – which is where a new project from Adafruit comes in.
In an effort to make riding a Citi Bike not only safer but more convenient, a new project found on Adafruit Learning Systems website is helping riders create a helmet that can provide them with greater visibility to drivers while also navigating to the closest bike station.
The project, created in conjunction with Tyler Cooper & Justin Cooper, modifies an existing bike helmet to include an LED strip for visibility and a FLORA GPS system to help locate Citi Bike stations in your area. Using a foldable helmet from Carrera, which naturally has grooves to accommodate the add-ons, the project weaves a NeoPixel LED strip along the spaces in the helmet and coordinates the entire system with a GPS unit in the back.
The GPS uses a code with the locations for Citi Bike sharing stations in NYC to determine the coordinate that is closest to you. The system also uses a code to flash the LED’s at the right and left edges of the helmet to signal riders to turn, and uses the center LED’s to indicate riders to go forward or turn around.
Bike safety is an important issue in the NYC metro area, and this seems like an easy, effective, and helpful project that can make the road safer for new cyclists. The project creators are quick to point out that existing smooth-surfaced helmets should not be modified, as it may affect their function, but this is one alternative. You can check out the video below, and an entire tutorial can be found on the Adafruit Learning System site.