Increased safety for cyclists and scooterists: Kögel Road Safety warns road users when turning rightBurtenbach, )
Especially in city centres, this scenario is a common cause of accidents: a truck turns right and cuts off a cyclist who is travelling straight head. In the worst case, the vulnerable road user ends up under the truck. The high volume of traffic and often poor visibility in urban areas and the “blind spot” of the truck, which cannot always be avoided even by modern mirror systems, are often the cause for these tragic accidents.
Christian Renners, CEO of Kögel Trailer GmbH, comments on the new safety feature: “The consequences for vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, those on e-scooters and pedestrians, are usually fatal. That’s why Kögel did not want to rely solely on the turning assistant, which will only become compulsory on European roads in 2024. In Germany alone, the described scenario kills up to 40 cyclists per year according to the German National Cyclists' Association (ADFC). Kögel wants to make an active contribution to preventing accidents like these.”
First place in the Trailer Innovation Award for KRS
Philipp Bönders, Chairman of the 15-head Trailer Innovation jury has the following to say on the KRS: “Unfortunately, accidents that occur when trucks are turning are not a rare occurrence with the current volume of delivery traffic in cities. Every year, there are numerous incidents in which cyclists or pedestrians are injured, or even killed, by vehicles turning right. To prevent such accidents in future, Kögel has now developed the KRS system (Kögel Road Safety). It saves lives by sending a special signal when the semi-trailer uses the indicator, which warns vulnerable road users of the upcoming turn on their smartphones. This exemplary technology was awarded first place in the Safety category by the jury of the Trailer Innovation Award 2023.”
Trailer sends signal to smartphone, tablet or wristband
KRS is based on an assistance system that Kögel developed together with the start-up Flasher, and vehicle lighting manufacturer Aspöck. KRS warns pedestrians, cyclists and other road users when a truck in their immediate vicinity is turning right. To do so, the trailer sends a special signal to its direct surroundings when the driver uses the indicator. The signal is picked up by a device that almost everyone carries with them at all times nowadays and that can also be secured to the front of a bike or scooter: the smartphone. An even more effective alternative is a specially developed wristband for cyclists and scooterists, which not only warns against trucks turning, but can also serve as an indicator and brake light for these vulnerable road users.
Free app makes smartphone vibrate, flash and sound an audible alarm
When the truck uses the indicator, Aspöck's additional hardware installed on the trailer automatically sends a Bluetooth signal. In response, the smartphone or wristband warns vulnerable road users in three ways at once: visually via a warning notification, audibly via a warning sound, and haptically by vibrating. By doing so, KRS draws attention to the potential hazard and increases the effectiveness of the indicator, which could previously only warn other road users of an upcoming turn visually. The range of the warning signal is limited to the direct surroundings of the truck to avoid distracting other road users. The signal is received by smartphones or tablets with the KRS app installed. The app will be available free of charge from all popular app stores as soon as the system is ready for release.
Safety wristband also functions as an indicator and brake light
The optional wristband, which Kögel developed in conjunction with the start-up Flasher, also contains a receiver for the signal and issues a warning in the same way as the smartphone. When worn outwardly on the user’s arm, the wristband also functions as an indicator and brake light.
At IAA Transportation, the new Kögel Lightplus Rail that will be displayed at Stand F14 in Hall 27 is equipped with Kögel Road Safety. Kögel will also demonstrate the system and all of its functions there. The display version is still in the pilot stage of production.