Imagine if your bike helmet used turn signals the same way as a car.

And imagine if it had brake lights.

That’s the plan behind the Dora bike helmet.

It’s a design that was submitted to the International Bicycle Design Competition.

It connects via Bluetooth to your handlebars.

Right now, it’s just a concept.

But the sooner it comes out, the better.

2013-03-13

Co.Exist

This Helmet With Brake Lights And Turn Signals Lets Bikers Speak The Language Of Cars

The concept Dora helmet indicates to the drivers around you what you’re doing on your bike--way more effectively than a silly hand signal.

Windshields and airbags are just two of the many safety features bicyclists don’t have, unlike their automobile driving comrades. And while there’s nothing designers can really do about those (other than design sexier velomobiles or install bicyclist-friendly airbags into the exterior of cars), a Hungarian designer has created a concept for a bicycle helmet with three safety features that no car would ever come without: a headlight, a taillight, and turn signals.

Balázs Filczer's Dora helmet would not only reduce the number of gadgets bikers have to worry about (since the lighting and helmet would be attached), it would potentially eliminate the need for sticking hands out at intersections to let drivers know which way they’re turning. In places where drivers aren’t that sensitive to cyclists, I imagine that actual turn signals would make a bigger impact on drivers than hand signals. If someone’s only used to cars, the grammar of a car will translate better.

But that doesn’t mean the helmet is an entirely hands-free experience: Dora’s lights, activated by Bluetooth, are turned on through a control switch on the handlebars.

The helmet concept was pitched at the International Bicycle Design Competition in October where it took home the award for its category of clothing and accessories. The product is just a concept, it’s unclear how much it would weigh (which could ultimately make or break its useability). Typically, bike helmets weight about 285 grams, and adding lights clearly adds to that. But if they worked, the accident prevention could be enormous. Then there might be less need for a helmet to record the license plate of the jerk who hit you.

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7 Comments

  • Nono_Yobiz

    No.  You still have to look back first.  Turning on a turn signal doesn't grant you the right to do anything.  It's a request that other drivers are not obliged to honor.  If you just turn on a turn signal and move, sooner or later you will get smacked.  You look back, and if the way is clear, you move.  If it isn't, you signal and WAIT to be acknowledged before moving.  This means that the turn signals on the back of the helmet will be facing away from overtaking traffic.

    Useless device that promotes dangerous behavior.

  • Douglas

    I've ridden hundred's of miles from Bay Ridge to Canarsie in Brooklyn on my bike commuting to and from work.

    I don't think this concept is useless.  Information is useful and that is what this concept provides, information to co-present other's.

    In my experience wearing high visibility clothing and using aggressive horns are the only way to catch the attention of a vehicle's driver.

    A bicycle is considered a vehicle, it is unlawful to ride on a sidewalk for example.

    I've found that the driver's are to blame for their absolute inattention.

    I've been hit by cars in my lane doing 25-30MPH on a 30MPH road.  
    I had to bang on the rear passenger window of a livery cab once as he essentially drove into my thigh while doing 25-30MPH.  
    He never saw me, only when I banged on his window with his door touching my leg at 30 MPH did he see me or acknowledge me.

    Anything that grabs the driver's attention and informs them of your presence and future actions on the road is worth something and certainly not "useless".

    -Douglas.

  • Joe Ting

    There are a lot of people out there that can`t see too well, yet continue to drive. A little arrow on a helmet is not going to cut it. They just see it as a blob. A flashing light on your hand (glove) would be a lot better. You can set it to turn on when you hold the knuckles vertically

  • EarlyMorningCoffee

    I think a voice command could work, but as a long time rider, to me talking while riding alone does not come as naturally using hand signals. I think keeping bikes as analog as possible is the right thing to do. Hand gestures work great, and the technology is free. (and if a driver is going to smash into you while gesturing, the driver will also smash into you with a weird arrow blinking on your head... That being said, the built in headlamp is a great idea.

  • Dave Hingston

    I think that's more in the execution than the concept.

    But it's gotta work hands-free.  How about a sensor in the brakes and voice commands to turn?