CDOT awards bike safety technology of the future

Posted at 9:02 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 00:20:55-04

DENVER—One in every 10 serious crashes in Colorado involves a bicycle or a pedestrian. CDOT is trying to improve on that, so it has turned to the general public for ideas.

Engineers, contractors, safety experts and more put their best concepts on the table for how to protect the non-car driving public. It turns out that involves a lot of cutting-edge technology. 

Here are the top three winners from the RoadX competition: 

1. "Bigfoot" -- An LED concept that lights up the bike path as you ride.

"As a bicycle approaches an intersection, these lights will follow the bike as it approaches," Tim Reinen, one of the concept creators, said Tuesday. "It's going to make drivers, it's going to make pedestrians and bikers aware of their surroundings."

2. "Coloroady" -- Another LED concept that would light up roads with colorful lights installed in solar panels.

"So instead of your bike path, in this case, or road or sidewalk or parking lot baking in the sun, doing nothing else—it actually collects solar energy," concept creator Scott Brusaw said.

3. "Liberty Bell" -- From a team out of Ireland, this lets riders log issues just by ringing a Bluetooth-enabled bell.

"It could be a pothole, it could be a near miss, could be a door opening, it could be harassment," Fionnuala Quinn of team Liberty Bell said. 

All three of these concepts will be tried out in Colorado over the next eight months on CDOT's dime. The one that works best gets $150,000.

"We would love to see some of the ideas hatched here today become a standard not only in Colorado, but everywhere," CDOT’s Peter Kozinski said. 

There was also a total of $50,000 in prize money given out for ideas that CDOT may implement in the future. Those ideas include changes to road signage, increased lighting, LEDs, optic lasers, and improvements to the Colorado Driver's Handbook.