SAFECYCLE, the Intelligent Bicycle Initiative for safe cycling in Europe
Cyclists’ safety is at the forefront in many European countries. In the EU project SAFECYCLE the potential contribution of ITS and ICT to increasing the safety of cyclists in Europe is being researched. In contrast to the automotive sector, the bicycle industry has incorporated Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) only to a very modest extent. ‘E-safety’ applications is a greenfield domain that the SAFECYCLE project is exploring.
A list of 120 e-safety applications has been compiled in the first phase of the project. It consists of over 80 applications that are already in use or under development. And over 30 ideas for applications that have been mentioned in interviews with 20 experts. Five categories of applications have been identified; applications for the cyclist, for the bicycle, for other vehicles, for cycling infrastructure and on the internet. An overview of the categories and applications has been documented in the state of the art. This document is now available at the project website www.safecycle.eu
In the second stage the project team has selected 30 applications for a SWOT analyses. Over 50 experts from 13 countries have given their opinion about the selected applications. The expected impact of the ten most promising applications will be researched further in the fourth phase of the project. The project team will also identify the need for further e-safety developments and ICT harmonization and standardisation.
One of the e-safety applications is ‘Laser’. The laser light projects an ellipse on the floor, making the bicycle appear bigger to other road users. If the sensor detects a vehicle entering the laser-generated ellipse, the laser light changes from green to red and all the horns start to scream, alerting both the cyclist and the encroaching vehicle. As soon as the vehicle leaves the ellipse, the light turns back to green. Laser is intended to give cyclists the same rights and obligations as car drivers, and to encourage car owners to respect the rights of cyclists.
SAFECYCLE stimulates the cooperation between ITS suppliers, the bicycle industry, governments and cycling organizations to contribute to the effort to make cycling in Europe safer; in line with the European ITS action plan (2011). The project is a cooperation between Mobycon (project coordinator – the Netherlands), Hasselt University IMOB (Belgium), CTL – Centre for Transport and Logistics “Sapienza” University of Rome (Italy) and CDV – Transport Research Centre (Czech Republic). It is being supported by the European Commission – DG MOVE.