Someone let Chris Grayling know. The new Audi A8 will lock its doors if it detects a cyclist approaching, meaning the driver and passengers should be unable to door someone.
Audi’s exit warning system has been around for a while, but this takes things up a notch. Previously, the car would simply alert occupants to approaching bicycles (or other traffic) but clearly the carmaker has decided this isn’t enough and has decided to make the car actually intervene.
Drive reports that the A8’s rear sensors are able to detect traffic approaching from the rear for up to three minutes after the engine has been turned off.
According to Audi system expert Georg Maier: “The first thing is there is a warning. It’s based on the sensors in the rear. The second thing is it delays the release of the door, so whenever there is traffic from the rear it delays door opening by 0.8 seconds.”
While the A8, with its hefty price tag, is a not an especially common car, Maier says that this is a sign of things to come.
“It’s the usual case: we start with the flagship and think how to roll that out on the other models.”
Front and rear sensors also warn the driver of traffic approaching from the side.
Earlier this month, a Leicester taxi driver lost his appeal against a conviction for allowing his passenger to open the door of the cab into cyclist Sam Boulton, causing his death in July last year.
Cycling UK has asked the government to introduce a new offence of causing or permitting serious injury or death by car dooring, with tougher penalties. The maximum penalty is currently a £1,000 fine.
The charity has also called for a road safety campaign promoting the 'Dutch Reach' technique of opening car doors. Taught to learner drivers in the Netherlands, it twists the motorist around so that they can’t help but look behind them, reducing the chances of accidentally dooring someone.