The white “ghost bike” at Huntington Avenue and Forsyth Street haunted Amir Farjadian and Qingchao Kong each time they rode past it on their way to Northeastern University.
It had been left there in June 2012 in memory of Kelsey Rennebohm, a Boston College graduate student and fellow bicyclist who died after a collision with a bus. And although the two engineering students didn’t know Rennebohm, the ghost bike was enough to make them rethink their focus on stationary bicycles at Northeastern’s Biomedical Mechatronics Laboratory.
“We found there were many products out there for exercise but almost nothing for safety, even though almost two people die every day in this country due to cycling accidents,” Farjadian said, “and more than 130 people are injured.”
Working with a team of undergraduate students led by Professor Constantinos Mavroidis, the two Ph.D. candidates began work last year on an accident-prevention system designed to turn any bicycle into a “smart bike.”