I'm going to give Audi full marks for this innovation soon - but not before I remind everyone that dangerous driving, closes passes, punishment passes and just general shit driving all seem to be the province of NSW drivers of black Audi SUVs.
Either that, or I am being stalked by a single individual who has spectacularly failed their covert driving manoeuvres class.
Clearly someone at Audi reads cycling twitter and has decided to do something about the terrible reputation their company has among the two-wheeled. Give them full props for this idea;
The new Audi A8 will lock its doors if it detects a cyclist approaching, meaning the driver and passengers should be unable to door a rider.
This is great - it means that if you give an Audi driver the finger for their crappy driving, they'll be unable to open the car doors and chase you down the street. Suckers !!!
Audi’s exit warning system has been in use for a few years, but they've taken it further; previously, the car would only alert occupants to approaching bicycles (or other traffic) but now the car manufacturer has decided this isn’t enough (i.e. that Audi drivers are still entitled buffoons who ignore warnings re the health and safety of others) and has decided to make the car actually overrule the human occupants.
Skynet, here we come. Personally, I don't think it will be too bad, and I for one welcome our new metal overlords.
Reportedly the new A8’s rear sensors are able to detect traffic approaching from the rear for up to three minutes after the engine has been turned off. The first level is still an audible warning to the occupants, the second level is an 0.8 second delay in allowing the door to open.
Sure, the price of the A8 stops it being a particularly common car on the roads, unfortunately I seem to live in a wealthy, Audi-driving enclave of entitlement, so I see plenty of the fuckers on my daily commute. This is the very definition of a First World Problem. I can only hope that Sydney's upper north shore collectively trades up relatively quickly.
Like any advance in car design, the car maker implements it in the exxy flagship model, and then rolls it out to the diffusion line (or whatever the car making equivalent is), so hopefully within my lifetime we'll see bike rider deaths by dooring become a distant memory.
Like most tech, it's a answer to a problem caused by either human laziness or human stupidity. Sometimes both. The simple technique called the "Dutch Reach" is taught to learner drivers in the Netherlands, it twists the car occupant around so that they can’t help but look behind them, reducing the chances of accidentally dooring someone. Try it yourself; take the arm furthest from the door, bring it in front of and across your chest to the door handle. Quite apart from anything it gives a lovely stretch and usually a couple of really satisfying clicks in your neck. Ahh, that's better !
Getting any official motoring body in Australia to endorse, let alone teach this though ?
Until Australian motorists, police forces and the judiciary actually give a toss about human cyclists lives, I prefer to take my chances with technology.
Oh yeah, and Imma keep taking my lane. Stay well away from parked cars kids; you're safer taking the middle of the lane and it's your right to do so