London (PRWEB UK) 20 December 2013
Cycle to work schemes are promoted as a healthy and affordable alternative to the typical morning commute, but a recent BBC poll has found that rising concerns over safety are deterring would-be cyclists. The results come after six cyclists died in the capital during a tragic two-week spate last month, resulting in a public outcry to strengthen the government’s commitment to protecting London’s most vulnerable road users.
A new generation of companies are tacking this issue head-on, developing hi-tech accessories and products to minimise the risk of accidents, especially those that involve another vehicle.
Emily Brooke, founder of Blaze has designed a light that projects a laser image of a green bike onto the ground about 5 metres ahead of the rider, greatly increasing visibility. Many of the worst accidents occur when a driver turns left and doesn’t see the cyclist on the passenger side of their vehicle.
RIFT points out that a company developing an innovative solution of this kind is a perfect example of R&D and should apply immediately to claim a tax refund.
“Blaze worked out that even if you are lit up like a Christmas tree, with every known light available in the market attached to your clothing and your bike, you still can’t be seen if you're in the vehicle's blind spot,” explained Sue Nelson, Director at RIFT Research and Development. “They have worked to solve this problem in a new and different way and this makes them eligible for government R&D incentives.”
Although research from the Department of Transport has shown that around 1% to 2% of cycling accidents are fatal, many cyclists will not wear a helmet because they don’t like the look of them, they mess up their hair or they don’t want to change clothes when they arrive at their destination.
The Hövding company researched this problem and came up with a unique solution: an ‘invisible’ cycle helmet. The Hovding airbag helmet stays folded inside a neck collar until the moment it detects an accident taking place. Once the collar is switched on, it uses six sensors to monitor the body's movements 200 times per second, and releases upon impact in one eighth of a second.
Sue Nelson praises the development work undertaken by Hövding: “It sits around the neck and looks like a slightly bulky scarf until it detects an accident and releases the airbag. It’s an amazing piece of thinking and technology. If it had been designed in the UK and not in Sweden, the company would have benefited from R&D tax relief. The UK offers huge incentives for such innovation, better than any other country in Europe.”
Even though Hövding could not claim as they are not based in the UK, SMEs who are using overseas developers or subcontractors can. RIFT Research and Development recommends that companies currently undertaking any product or service development should contact a tax specialist to receive the full benefit from the R&D tax relief scheme. Founded in 1999, The RIFT Group is one of the UK’s leading tax refund specialists and has claimed back over £16 million in tax refunds for their clients this year. To find out more about the R&D tax relief scheme, contact 01233 653002 or email info(at)riftresearch(dot)com for a free telephone consultation.