A 2017 survey discovered that 62% of adults are afraid to cycle because they consider the roads too dangerous. Well, they’re about to get a bit safer thanks to the Wheeler Smart Cycling Backpack, which its makers claim is not just the first of its kind but can also help reduce accidents.
How? Well, first of all, it can help with getting you seen by other road users thanks to its integrated LED light system, which can show the direction you are turning in and when you are braking (much like the indicators and brake lights on a car).
It also has an automatic SOS system that uses the same kind of black-box recorder technology commonly found in aeroplanes to harvest certain cycling data. So that in the event of a dodgy driver sideswiping your bike, you’ll have more than just your word against theirs to back up your insurance claim. In fact, the backpack will record not just the route you were riding on in the event of an incident, but also the impact ratio, the date and time it took place, as well as take photos of the impact. The backpack works in conjunction with a suite of smartphone apps that come free when you buy the backpack.
Apps that you can use to programme the LED lights and SOS system, as well as let you track things like the weather, or even the backpack itself in the event of it going missing-there’s an anti-theft app that works with the pack’s integrated GPS unit. The bag even features a 7W solar panel which allows you to create free energy for you to charge devices such as smartphones or bike lights on the go.
Made from durable, waterproof nylon, there will be two packs available when the product launches later this year, the standard version that can be attached to a rear rack and used as a backpack, and the Wheeler Side, which has a pannier design. It’s also apparently eco-friendly, as its makers claim they want it to help the governments hit its 2030 climate and energy targets by getting more people out of cars and onto bikes. The Wheeler is crowdfunding on Indiegogo with a 50% discount on the eventual RRP.