Thanks to two Carnegie Mellon University students in Pittsburgh — Ethan Frier and Jonathan Ota — bicycling commuting may be a little safer in the future. The industrial design students formed Project Aura, a project to illuminate the wheels of a moving bicycle.
To help finance their project, the pair have won a number of small-business start-up grants. With such funding support, the pair have evolved their wheels to battery-powered, digitally-controlled bike rim LEDs.
“We’re looking into ways that cyclists can communicate with drivers through lights, because most accidents are caused by a lack of communication between rider and driver,” Ota says on CMU’s website. “Cars have a very distinct lighting language, with headlights and taillights, etc. Similarly, we’re trying to develop a new lighting language for bicycles.”
Given the dangerous year cyclists faced in Pittsburgh this past year, might not be such a bad thing. Ride on!