Dame Laura Kenny, five-time Olympic cycling gold medal winner, has welcomed a new Lexus safety system designed to help prevent accidents caused by car doors being opened into the path of cyclists and other vehicles. The risks from “dooring” are in focus this week with World Bicycle Day being celebrated on Friday, 3 June.
“Dooring” is a common hazard, where a vehicle driver or passenger opens a door into the path of a cyclist approaching from behind.
Lexus has helped address the issue with a world-first technology that can prevent a door being opened, if there is the risk of an accident. Its new e-latch is an electronic door release system that is linked to sensors mounted on the rear of the vehicle. These will detect a cyclist – or other road user – and provide a Safe Exit Assist function, alerting the driver or passengers with warning lights in the door mirror glass and instrument display, and disabling the e-latch operation. If the driver tries to release the door, a further, audible warning message will be sounded.
This video shows how the system works.
Dame Laura Kenny, the UK’s most successful female Olympian and a Team Toyota GB athlete, welcomed Lexus’s safety initiative, commenting: “I welcome all innovations that help keep cyclists safe on the roads, and I think the e-latch is a great idea as I’ve had a few narrow escapes from car doors myself when out on my bike.”
The technology made its debut on the all-new Lexus NX mid-size SUV and has the potential to be featured on other future Lexus models.
It is just one element in the wide-ranging safety provisions Lexus is fitting to its cars that safeguard against accidents involving cyclists – and other road users and pedestrians – in its drive towards the ultimate goal of zero road accidents, injuries and fatalities.
For example, the Lexus Safety System+ package of systems fitted to all new Lexus models includes a Pre-Collision System that can detect the risk of a collision with a cyclist on the road ahead**. The new Intersection Turn Assist function can also warn if a crossing cyclist is in the car’s path as it makes a left or right turn at a junction.
* Department for Transport Official Statistics, Walking and Cycling 2020. **In daylight driving.
*Article Source media.lexus.co.uk