What began as a slow roll out of a concept more than anything, is now taking shape with an actual product. The Dooring Alert System (DAS) was conceptualized by Nikk Varvaris after a rider died upon being doored – that is, running into the opening door of a car. Thanks to the arrangement of many bike lanes and on-street parking, the threat of dooring is real and something riders in the city have to be constantly vigilant towards.
Since there’s no way to prevent drivers from opening their doors (at least currently, Volvo/POC is working on a door locking mechanism, but that’s another story), DAS is looking at ways to alert cyclists that a dooring is imminent. Now with the first retrofit available on Kickstarter, the concept is looking a lot more promising…
To accommodate all the cars already on the road, DAS is offering the Alpha model as a retrofit. The device consists of two bright LED warning lights that are affixed to the inside of the back windshield, and sensors on each seat belt. The idea is that when a seatbelt, any seatbelt is unbuckled the warning lights will go off. This signals to oncoming riders that the door is about to open, as well as serves as a reminder to the occupants of the vehicle to check for cyclists before opening the door. Once the doors are closed and the car is locked, the DAS Alpha lights will turn off.
Further down the road, DAS plans to introduce the Lambda system which will be built into future car models. The concept adds lights to the mirrors, as well as a few other details that DAS is working on.
Initial DAS Alpha units are going for about $150 on Kickstarter with delivery expected around September 2016. For more details, head over the Kickstarter page.