In car technology has taken another small step towards tackling the big problem of drivers dooring bike riders.
The first car is now on the market that will momentarily lock drivers and passengers in a parked car if sensors detect a bike approaching from behind.
Bicycle Network has previously reported on the development of sensors that when fitted to cars can detect to approach of bikes.
Several vehicles have been released that use the sensors to provide audible and/or visual warnings to car occupants.
But this still relied on unreliable humans to heed the warning and keep the door shut until the rider passed.
But now, occupants of the new Audi A8, if they ignore the warning, will be physically restrained by a locked door as the bike, or another vehicle, passes the parked car.
If the sensor detects a bike, the door will be held closed for .8 of a second.
As a bike travelling at 20 kph will cover 4.5 metres in that time, the rider should be passed the door before the passenger or driver is able to swing the door into the riders path.
The Audi A8 is a very expensive vehicle at the top of the brand’s range. However such technology features usually are introduced at the high end, and then later into the mass market.
However, should governments decide to get on the front foot and mandate or incentivise such safety initiatives, they could be rolled out much faster and economically.