When cyclists hack your car radio

Bicycle bells go from timid to strong thanks to AXA in Poland and the innovative use of technology

In Poland, around five million people get around by bicycle every day. But while cars are big, noisy and packed with safety features, bikes are small, vulnerable and armed only with a tiny bell. To make cyclists safer on the roads, FCB Warsaw and insurer AXA launched the “smart bell”. Using RDS (radio data system) technology, it enables bicycle bells to be heard on nearby car radios. When the bell is rung, it sends a signal to the cars and triggers a ringing noise over their radio speakers, even when they’re listing to music. The invention was launched at a well-known cyclists’ convention and warmly received. For the time being it’s only a prototype designed to spread a message about road safety, but in the near future the “smart bell” could prove revolutionary for both cyclists and drivers.