Cyclist Friendly Jaguar

by Andy Creak March 30, 2015

Not only do Jaguar make some pretty tasty cars these days, they could be moving towards being nice to cyclists as well...


Car makers have always been some of the most sophisticated brand wizards. Even in the 1970's (which I can just about remember) car makers deeply understood the emotional connection between their product and 'man. I say 'MAN', because they hadn't yet noticed there was another set of car buyers called 'ladies', as they were too busy dressing them in bikinis and sticking them on the bonnets of cars.

Thankfully times have moved on. The car makers have become ever more sophisticated at slicing and dicing markets, appealing to as many people as they can in the process. So it's very interesting then, that one of the brands who till now, have been all about selling performance and luxury to overweight, middle aged men, have suddenly started getting all fluffy and cuddly with cyclists. What's going on here then?

Jaguar's new concept cycle safety features centre around radar detection of cyclists (and pedestrians - let's not forget them) and giving the driver positional alerts, using the stereo to play cycle bell sounds and flashing lights to draw the driver's attention to the area where the cyclist is located. Without testing and experiencing these ourselves it's hard to judge how effective this is, but from a human-factors design heuristics (rule of thumb) point of view it all looks very well done.

particularly like the door handle vibration alert when it detects you're about to open your door into an overtaking cyclist. One of my worst fears as a daily cyclist, is having to overtake lines of parked cars, worrying about embedding myself on the sharp end of a flung open door...

Car makers are of course desparate to find new features to add. But this kind of technology is a big investment, so Jaguar wouldn't be doing this out of some woolly sense of social responsibility. They must have decided this is going to sell more cars. Which signals a change in society's attitude towards cyclists. Given that many more commuters are cycling now, perhaps they're seeing that many of their customers are also cyclists as well.

Whatever the subtlties of this, and seeing as Volvo are also getting into cycle safety too - I think this bodes well for us all. Have a look, would you like this on your car?...



Andy Creak
Andy Creak


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