Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Lorry* blind spots are bigger than you think"

*A "lorry" is what they call a truck in England and it's also sometimes what people call me.

The folks down at Transport for London have come up with a very clever little campaign to highlight the very large blind spot that exists for truck drivers.

The demonstration is described as "augmented reality".  To use it, you need a webcam and a printout of a marker sheet (which you get from the website) .  You hold the marker sheet in front of the webcam.  Then a clever computer thing happens where a big truck appears in front of your face with a bevy of bicycles beside it.  Along the side of the truck, two statements are displayed; "Undertaking lorries at intersections can be fatal" and "All of these bikes are in the driver's blind spot".

It's really clever and as far as I know unique (although I don't know everything).  You find yourself trying to see around the piece of paper that you are holding in front of your face.  I guess the idea is this simulates how difficult it is for truck drivers to see cyclists.  The metaphor goes something like this; I am the truck driver, the paper is my blind spot, and the computer screen is the cyclists.  It's cool!

Give it a try.  Go to, print out the marker sheet and get blind!

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