Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: GrnMtns on March 23, 2018, 12:50:47 pm

 
Title: best color for panniers
Post by: GrnMtns on March 23, 2018, 12:50:47 pm
What color is most visible to self driving cars, anyone?
Title: Re: best color for panniers
Post by: John Nettles on March 23, 2018, 01:04:36 pm
BIG  :D .  Honestly, I don't think anyone could answer that knowledgeably except for maybe Google/Waymo and the others developing the cars.

I currently have red but am slowly switching to black since the colors will fade much quicker than black.  To be seen by people drivers, I use a rear facing blinking headlight (NiteRider 750).  If they can't see that, they REALLY should not be driving.  Downside is it has to be charged every night and it takes about 4-5 hours.
Title: Re: best color for panniers
Post by: GrnMtns on March 23, 2018, 01:14:37 pm
Ha, good answer.  I was mostly kidding, but was also wondering if the blinky light, which is new for me, would have more of an impact than the color of gear.
Title: Re: best color for panniers
Post by: John Nettles on March 23, 2018, 01:24:29 pm
In my case with my very bright blinking headlight (rear facing), my touring buddies have seem me literally a mile a way.  No joking.  The pain is keeping it charged every night.  I carry two if my tour is going to be in a more populated area to ensure I always have one. 

Additionally, mounting it is a pain as it is designed to be mounted on a handlebar, not a rear Tubus rack.  I used a Paul Components Gino Light Mount (copies are out there cheaper) and a p-clamp but it still wants to loosen up occasionally.  Also, I use a silicone rubber band wrapped around the light's quick connect mount to ensure it doesn't come off.  I lost one in Montana and at $80+ each, its not fun to loose them too often.
Title: Re: best color for panniers
Post by: hikerjer on March 25, 2018, 11:11:39 pm
To me, it's obvious. Bright  colors such as red, orange or yellow are going to be much more visible. Personally, I  have red panniers for that very reason. I still tour with a high visibility yellow or orange jersey and a very bright blinking red taillight.  I remember pulling in to a campground in Yellowstone during a rain storm near dusk and the campground host said, "Man, we saw you coming a mile away."  I thought that was a good thing.
Title: Re: best color for panniers
Post by: canalligators on March 26, 2018, 08:24:20 pm
 On self-driving cars, the LIDAR doesn’t sense in the visible range, so lights or bright colors won’t help.  Size would help.  Maybe something that reflects IR?  A big patch of aluminum foil?  Any LIDAR experts here?
Title: Re: best color for panniers
Post by: barturtle on March 27, 2018, 01:34:34 pm
Aluminium foil wouldn't be good, as it acts more as a mirror, which instead of reflecting back to the source in a off axis, would deflect away. Retroreflective is what you want, just like the reflectors on many panniers and safety vests.

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Title: Re: best color for panniers
Post by: litespeed on March 27, 2018, 02:19:15 pm
I use yellow Ortlieb panniers with their reflective patches. I figure they have maximum visibility. I just use a simple blinkie on my belt at dusk and after dark

Years ago - pre-LED - there was a blinking belt light called a Belt Beacon. It was about 3" in diameter and had a yellow fresnel lens. The manual readily admitted that it was illegal in many states. It was extremely effective. Cars would slow down in bewilderment a half mile behind me at night. They were probably wondering why a construction barrier light was moving down the road in front of them. I'd love to have a such a light today.
Title: Re: best color for panniers
Post by: canalligators on March 27, 2018, 09:09:27 pm
Funny how most of the posters tell us what they use for visibility, but totally missed the fact that OP was pondering the specific case of detection by autonomous vehicles.
Title: Re: best color for panniers
Post by: RussSeaton on March 27, 2018, 11:12:24 pm
Funny how most of the posters tell us what they use for visibility, but totally missed the fact that OP was pondering the specific case of detection by autonomous vehicles.

And in his second post, 24 minutes after the original post, he says "I was mostly kidding,".  So people ignored the nonsensical original question, and gave a reasoned response.  My panniers are royal blue.  It was the only color choice, so there was no question about which color to buy.
Title: Re: best color for panniers
Post by: GrnMtns on March 28, 2018, 06:31:45 am
Yes, I was looking at panniers and wondered, perhaps whimsically, if visibility to self driving cars could get to be a consideration.  I did get some good answers and found that they use lidar, radar, and cameras, so should be able to detect objects/pedestrians in the dark.