Laser lights coming to every Boris bike in London

The clunky frame of the Boris bike (or Santander Cycle, if you’re less alliterative/more corporate) is pretty recognisable in the daylight, but when night falls, the public bike system can fall prey to poor visibility. That problem is getting a novel solution, with the rollout of a laser-pointed light system.

Transport for London (TfL) has previously tested the Blaze Laserlight on 250 bikes across the capital, and has now pledged to bring the tech to all 11,500 Santander Cycles in London starting in early 2016. The light projects a green bicycle icon six metres ahead of the bike itself, flagging the cyclist’s presence to pedestrians and other vehicles.

“It’s fantastic that our Santander Cycles will be able to bring light to the dark side of the street with these nifty Laserlights,” said Boris Johnson during the announcement. “We’re always looking to develop new and innovative ways to help people cycle around the capital more safely and these green lights will help all our cycle hire users to stay seen at night.” 

Emily Brooke, CEO and founder of London startup Blaze, developed the light, which comes on automatically at night. She came up with the Laserlight during her studies in Brighton, and won a place on a Santander-funded entrepreneurship programme in Boston. Santander is paying £768,000 of the £860,000 needed to install the lights across the entire Boris bike fleet, with TfL footing the remainder.  

Next: Improbable – the British tech startup with massive ambition.

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