Bike light sensors monitor road conditions

Nearly 200 Manchester cyclists are carrying out the first large-scale British trial of a combined bike light and road condition monitoring unit.

The design is aimed at increasing safety and collecting anonymised data on the riding environment.

Made by Northern Ireland cycling technology developer See.Sense, the unit uses sensor-derived data to make the light flash more brightly and rapidly in risky situations, for example when crossing busy junctions or approaching roundabouts.

It is also effectively crowdsourcing data on the surface conditions of roads and cycle paths, as well as near misses, to help identify the most hazardous sections of routes across the city.

Powered by the bike’s rechargeable USB battery, the unit transmits the results in real-time via a mobile app to a cloud database.

This allows the data to be aggregated and shared, via a BT hub, for analysis by CityVerve, Manchester’s Internet of Things (IOT) smart city consortium. Members include the Ordnance Survey and Manchester City Council.

A CityVerve spokesperson told Transport Network: ‘It will help the city council in making cycling policy decisions.’

The OS is using the trial to help it explore the use of geospatial data as a tool for developing smart urban initiatives.

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