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Ford's come up with these anti-dooring wing mirrors - what do you make of them?

Engineers currently working on system that would prevent car doors from being fully opened when cyclists are passing

If nothing else, Ford’s Emoji Jacket did at least indicate that the car manufacturer was aware that cyclists existed. Its latest innovation, an anti-dooring wing mirror, is a further sign of this with the added benefit that it’s also kind of useful.

Car dooring – a driver or passenger opening a car door into or directly in front of a cyclist – is a major danger for those on two wheels.  

Incidents have, on occasion, proven fatal. In 2018, Maria Bitner-Glindzicz was killed when a van driver opened his door without looking, forcing her to swerve into the path of a taxi that was overtaking her.

In 2017, Sam Boulton was killed outside Leicester railway station when a taxi passenger opened her door, knocking him off his bike and into the path of an oncoming van.

Boulton’s family have since campaigned for warning stickers to be added to taxis and for the Dutch Reach method of opening car doors to be incorporated into the driving test and Highway Code.

Ford’s Exit Warning system uses existing sensors that were initially devised to let drivers know when other road users are in their blind spots when on the move and instead utilises them when they and their passengers are exiting the vehicle.

“Cyclists, and increasingly e-scooter riders, face daily safety challenges on our busy roads, including avoiding car doors as they open,” said Friederike Philipsenburg, Vehicle Architecture Engineer, Ford of Europe. “Exit Warning is just one of the ways we are helping to make the roads better for everybody — whether they are on two wheels or four.”

According to Ford, “Exit Warning analyses and understands the movements of approaching road users – whether they are riding a bicycle or an e-scooter – on both the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle.

“If the system detects that opening the vehicle door could cause a collision, an alarm sounds to warn the driver or passenger of the danger. Bright red LEDs on the wing mirror begin to flash as a visual warning for cyclists and a strip of red LEDs along the inner trim of the door – that becomes visible when the door is opened – provides further warning for passing road users.”

The firm’s engineers are also said to be testing a new mechanism for the car door that would momentarily prevent it from being fully opened whenever the Exit Warning system determined that a cyclist was at risk.

The technology is to be tested with different road and lane layouts in coming months.

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23 comments

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Russkinks | 3 posts | 3 years ago
3 likes

Yes, lovely technology, but the Dutch Reach is free...

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Hirsute | 8062 posts | 3 years ago
1 like

How good is it with black, at night, with the cyclist in between a car with hi led beams?

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jollygoodvelo replied to Hirsute | 2185 posts | 3 years ago
0 likes

Depending on what sensor is used obviously, quite probably better than your eyes.

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Spiregrain | 36 posts | 3 years ago
7 likes

Make the potential punishment strong enough and people will learn to take responsibility. Two year driving ban for anyone guilty of dooring seems about right - driver OR paasenger. - other than children under 14 when the adult in car takes the rap.

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Captain Badger replied to Spiregrain | 4046 posts | 3 years ago
3 likes

Quite, there is a reason why back doors have child locks on them!

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matthewn5 replied to Captain Badger | 1855 posts | 3 years ago
0 likes
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freetime101 | 82 posts | 3 years ago
2 likes

As a child I once opened the car door without looking as we pulled into a parking space, a car pulling into the next bay nearly wiped the door off (luckily they stopped in time so no harm done...).

My dad gave me such a bollocking I now always turn and check before opening the door... 

Never doored a cyclist, car, pedestrian or otherwise...

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Butty | 423 posts | 3 years ago
0 likes

So does the red light also  prevents all of the doors from opening? How does it forcibly turn the occupants' head to look into the mirror?

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visionset | 248 posts | 3 years ago
3 likes

Terrible idea, just like airbags. It does take away responsibility as already stated. Anyhing like this makes you lazy, humans are lazy by nature.  So what happens when it fails or you get into another car without it. Happlily flinging doors with gay abandon?  

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PRSboy | 1390 posts | 3 years ago
4 likes

If only there was some cheap and readily available device that could be placed on the outside of the door that would show a reflected image of what was approaching the vehicle from behind.  

 

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hawkinspeter replied to PRSboy | 12183 posts | 3 years ago
4 likes

PRSboy wrote:

If only there was some cheap and readily available device that could be placed on the outside of the door that would show a reflected image of what was approaching the vehicle from behind.  

But how would they get put onto the cars? It's not a job I could see myself doing.

 

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mdavidford replied to PRSboy | 3804 posts | 3 years ago
0 likes

PRSboy wrote:

If only there was some cheap and readily available device that could be placed on the outside of the door that would show a reflected image of what was approaching the vehicle from behind.

If only there was a free and always available device between our heads and our shoulders that would allow our field of view to be rotated to see behind us.

Quote:

The firm’s engineers are also said to be testing a new mechanism for the car door that would momentarily prevent it from being fully opened whenever the Exit Warning system determined that a cyclist was at risk.

This seems more useful than than what they have developed - might have been better to start with this.

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jollygoodvelo | 2185 posts | 3 years ago
1 like

Not a bad idea, really.  Uses existing sensors that are built into almost every new car now, might help even when in older cars because once your 'new' car has beeped at you a few times and you realise why, you'll start looking unprompted.

Given the range that the sensors operate at though, I do wonder how they'll convince it to work when a car is parked in a tight space or next to a post in a carpark.

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bikercub | 23 posts | 3 years ago
3 likes

This is a good idea if it is included as standard on every model of car Ford manufacture. If it is only available on select models, or an expensive optional extra at the time of purchase, I can't imagine the average driver giving a toss about the welfare of cyclists or pedestrians.

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Hirsute | 8062 posts | 3 years ago
5 likes

Although it sounds good, I don't like the idea of automation that takes away responsibility.
Who is going to test it properly ?!

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Sriracha replied to Hirsute | 4083 posts | 3 years ago
1 like

It does not take away responsibility.

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brooksby replied to Sriracha | 12202 posts | 3 years ago
2 likes

Quote:

“If the system detects that opening the vehicle door could cause a collision, an alarm sounds to warn the driver or passenger of the danger. Bright red LEDs on the wing mirror begin to flash as a visual warning for cyclists and a strip of red LEDs along the inner trim of the door – that becomes visible when the door is opened – provides further warning for passing road users.”

It seems more like it doesn't really stop the driver or their passenger opening the door onto someone, just gives the passing innocent a bit more of a chance to avoid when they do.

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visionset replied to brooksby | 248 posts | 3 years ago
0 likes

Surely the basis of all life, take the efficient route. If something becomes easier for whatever reaon, we embrace, subconciously. It's called survival. All life evolves to be as efficient as possible.  So yes this a is bad like so much 'safety' stuff. Ironically if you have the genetic make up to check everthing depsite the tech, then in naturualised state you be the first to be a casuality of dawrinism. 

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Captain Badger replied to visionset | 4046 posts | 3 years ago
1 like

Not really. It is true that Biology, (the study of the diversity of living systems) only makes sense in the light of Darwinian evolution, however that is not necessarily a struggle for efficiency, more the statistical likelihood of passing on your genes to the next generation. In terms of efficiency, evolution has resulted in perverse outcomes that are none the less successful - eg a peacock's fan, tall trees in the rain forest, stripes on a badgers nose, the human sense of awe and wonder, or appreciation of beauty, to name but a few.

Of course none of the above is really relevant to the topic in hand, I just find it fascinating

 

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Hirsute replied to visionset | 8062 posts | 3 years ago
0 likes

Does that mean preflight checks are unnecessary?
Not sure what you are trying to convey in the last sentence.

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Captain Badger replied to Sriracha | 4046 posts | 3 years ago
5 likes

Legally, and then maybe.

In practical terms however, picture this. Someone who gives a stuff about vulnerable users usually checks over their shoulder. They see an option available on their next new car for this system. "Great" they think, "even safer". Over time, as it is so good, they come to rely on it, and use the dutch reach less and less, eventually just opening the door without checks. After all, they know that if anyone is behind them, it will engage and restrict the door movement.

Except when it doesn't. Ford has informed the user that although it is 98% effective (in the conditions in which it is tested) the user should still always use the dutch reach. The user and cyclist, however, need it to work 100% of the time in all conditions.

Let's imagine it is 100% effective in all conditions. Cyclists will still react to doors springing open, even partially, potentially putting them in danger from following vehicles. Drivers still need to check before opening doors.

The above is an example of risk compensation, where in spite of "safety" devices in cars becoming more numerous and sophisticated, road casualty stats don't appear to reflect the advances, even when considering regression.

There is absolutely no substitute for looking over your shoulder, and if you do that the system is redundant anyway.

 

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cycle.london replied to Captain Badger | 226 posts | 3 years ago
5 likes

Captain Zhap wrote:

The above is an example of risk compensation, where in spite of "safety" devices in cars becoming more numerous and sophisticated, road casualty stats don't appear to reflect the advances, even when considering regression.

There is absolutely no substitute for looking over your shoulder, and if you do that the system is redundant anyway.

Couldn't agree more.  I don't really get why so many people seem incapable or unwilling to consider others' needs before their own - or at the very least, to put others' safety on a par with their own comfort.  It's a mentality which I will never understand.  

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Hirsute replied to Sriracha | 8062 posts | 3 years ago
6 likes

Not legal no.
But practically, 'I don't need to look because the car does'. 'The system failed not me'.

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