In its full-fledged form, the no-car city
reduces pollution and enhances urban sustainability while making commuting safer for pedestrians and cyclists (not to mention the rising ranks of kick scooter-ers
). Few bikers or walkers are likely to pack up and relocate to IKEA’s idyllic, car-free Strand East suburb
just yet, but these emergent, tech-enabled tools for improved street safety may provide some temporary consolation.
Cautious pedestrians and cyclists are typically hesitant to plug in earbuds when navigating high-traffic areas—and with good reason
. While blasting tunes can make walking or riding more fun, it also drowns out ambient noise, decreasing individuals’ awareness and putting them at greater risk. New EarHero
earbuds present an elegant solution to this commuters’ conundrum. Dubbed “the world’s safest earpiece,” EarHero’s tiny speakers fit into the ear canal without blocking its entire width. This allows street noises to filter in while music is playing. But just as ambient sounds trickle in, music can likewise trickle out—so wearers should be wary when indulging in guilty pleasures.
The mythical allure of the motorcycle has long been connected to its danger factor. In reality, the unsexy stats show that motorcycle riders are 37 times more likely
than car drivers or passengers to die in a crash. Hoping to cut back on injuries and fatalities, the makers of protective gear at Italian company Dainese
recently created D-air Street
, an integrated system of on-person airbags (think inflatable moto-jacket). The system connects a rider’s gear to his or her bike, using sensors that detect impact to inflate the driver’s jacket at the moment of a crash. This impressively sensitive
technology can reduce body impact by as much as 92%.
Bicycle culture is steadily on the uptick, particularly in hip urban centers, and it’s easy enough to see why: bikes are green
, their riders are stylish
, and brands are increasingly anticipating cyclists’ unique needs
. Industrial design student Mitchell Silvia
recently invented a simple add-on that simultaneously enhances a bike’s safety and cool: GLOBARS
. These handlebar lights feature LED bulbs in plastic tubing. Unlike reflectors, which become visible only in flashes of external light, GLOBARS use a watch battery to create their own glow—meaning riders are visible at all times. Rave
r-cyclists might consider pairing GLOBARS with designer Natalie Walsh
’s reflective disco ball helmet
to flash-ify their every ride.