Bicycling is a great activity for getting into shape but it does require a constant awareness of what is going on around you. Serious cyclists have often opted for country roads where there is less traffic and more hills to climb. The downfall is that there typically is not paths or wide shoulders on the road, which means bikes and cars are sharing the same space.
Garmin is setting out to enhance the safety of riders with a new radar system that detects approaching vehicles from the rear. The Varia Rearview Bike Radar and Smart Lights system puts riders in a safer position by alerting both riders and approaching traffic that they will be closing in on each other.
Garmin has developed a simple product that attaches a radar and light to the rear of the bike and a display unit on the handlebars. When traffic approaches from the rear, the radar picks it up as much as 150 yards away. The system alerts the rider with a simple display of the cars location relative to the bike. Rear lighting is illuminated and flashes to alert cars that a bike is ahead of them.
The display shows a series of dots that represents cars and the rider. As cars approach, the white dots get closer to the orange dot representing the bike. The system can display as many as eight cars at once. Garmin is also announcing a set of lights that adjust based on speed and weather conditions. When paired with one of Garmin’s EDGE GPS systems, the lights can adjust themselves automatically with brighter lights or higher beams based on data from the computer.
Garmin’s new products are another step in the right direction for increasing the safety of bicyclists. Although there are many other options for seeing oncoming traffic, Garmin’s display system will provide a nice alternative to an old fashion mirror. The Varia system retails as a bundle with the display for $300, while the light system alone goes for $200. The smart bike lights sell for $300 as a bundle with a remote or $200 for the headlight and $70 for the taillight separately. Garmin states that these products will ship in Q3.
OLATHE, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced the Varia line of smart cycling devices, including a first-of-its-kind rearview bike radar and smart bike lights. Helping create a safer cycling environment, Varia rearview bike radar warns cyclists of vehicles approaching from behind up to 140 meters (153 yards) and also warns approaching vehicles of a cyclist ahead, and Varia smart bike lights automatically adjust to changing conditions as well as the speed of the cyclist. Both the radar and lights work independently, or seamlessly integrate with each other and with compatible Edge® cycling computers1, allowing cyclists to customize to their needs.
“As leaders in creating innovative cycling technology, we’re excited to introduce our line of cycling awareness products and take the next step in providing a complete experience for riders”
“As leaders in creating innovative cycling technology, we’re excited to introduce our line of cycling awareness products and take the next step in providing a complete experience for riders,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “Varia rearview bike radar and smart bike lights not only alert cyclists of vehicles, but also alert the vehicles of the cyclist. With Garmin cycling products you can now track all your essential stats with peace of mind on the roads.”
Varia Rearview Bike Radar
Each year approximately 726 cyclists are killed and an additional 49,000 are injured in motor vehicle crashes, and of these incidents around 40 percent occur when a cyclist is hit from behind.2 As the first-of-its-kind radar system for bikes, Varia rearview bike radar alerts the cyclist and the approaching vehicles to assist in creating a safer environment on the roads.
The system includes a radar tail light transmitter and a radar display unit. The radar tail light transmitter detects approaching vehicles from up to 140 meters (153 yards) behind and increases brightness as cars approach. When in flashing mode, it increases flashing intensity as well. The radar display unit and compatible Edge cycling computers show up to eight vehicles as they approach, indicating increasing risk with a change in color on a LED interface or using an overlay of the current data screen on an Edge device.
Varia Smart Bike Lights
Based on GPS data from a compatible Edge, the Varia headlight beam automatically projects further ahead at faster speeds during a ride and closer as a rider’s speed decreases, lighting the road where cyclists need it the most. It also focuses the light ahead instead of all around, shining 100 lux at 10 meters and features a high-beam cut-off to prevent blinding oncoming vehicles.
The Varia tail light operates in solid and flashing modes, and increases intensity when the bike decelerates to warn approaching traffic. By adding a second tail light cyclists can utilize turn signals, which can be controlled through a compatible Edge or the Varia remote.3 The Varia remote or Edge also controls the pattern, intensity and on/off function of the lights.
When paired with an Edge 1000, Varia smart bike lights can adjust their brightness based on ambient light conditions. Paired with other Edge devices the lights can automatically turn on and off, preventing accidental battery drain.
The Varia radar tail light is available for $199.99, or $299.99 bundled with the radar display unit. The Varia smart bike lights are available as a bundle including the Varia remote for $299.99, or separately for $199.99 (headlight) and $69.99 (tail light). All Varia smart cycling devices will begin shipping in Q3.
For more than 25 years, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at garmin.com/newsroom, contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200, or follow us at facebook.com/garmin, twitter.com/garmin, or youtube.com/garmin.
1 Compatible with Edge 1000; compatibility with Edge Touring Plus/810/520/510/25 coming via a software update in Q3
2 According to the U.S. Department of Transportation
3 Included with some models, sold separately on others.
Garmin International Inc. is a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN). Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in Switzerland, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Garmin and Edge are registered trademarks. Varia is a trademark of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries.
The Bluetooth work mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Garmin is under license.
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Notice on Forward-Looking Statements:
This release includes forward-looking statements regarding Garmin Ltd. and its business. Such statements are based on management’s current expectations. The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and actual results could differ materially as a result of known and unknown risk factors and uncertainties affecting Garmin, including, but not limited to, the risk factors listed in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 27, 2014, filed by Garmin with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission file number 0-31983). A copy of such Form 10-K is available at http://www.garmin.com/aboutGarmin/invRelations/finReports.html. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and Garmin undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
The Varia Bike Lights have not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. These devices are not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.