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ICT applications can help cyclists to decrease the possibility of accidents and, when an accident happens, decrease the severity of accidents. After a first inventory the e-safety applications and services are divided into five categories:
1. e-safety applications for cyclists
The Swedish design company Hövding launched an idea for an airbag for cyclists. The airbag is situated within the collar of a jacket. When there is a sudden dangerous movement the airbag will be inflated within 0,1 seconds to a protective helmet around the head.
The Italian designer Doci developed a ‘Blink’ helmet, which blinks when a cyclist changes direction. The ‘Blink’ contains four led lights, two at the front and two at the side. The two led lights at the side can easily be switched on and off by hand.
The so called ‘speed vest’ is developed by Clark and Hansen. When the cyclist wears the vest, it shows the actual speed of the cyclist at the back of the vest. As a result, the visibility of the cyclist improves and other road users are able to anticipate better.
2. e-safety applications for the bicycle
The ‘Bicycle Brake Light’ is a red lamp, which can be edited at the back of the bicycle. Movement detecting sensors know when a cyclist brakes and activate the brake light.
Cyclo has developed a bicycle tyre with integrated led lights. Energy for the led lights is generated through the movement of the wheels. This increases the visibility and safety of cyclists.
3. e-safety applications for other vehicles
TNO (Dutch research institute) is working on an airbag on cars to protect cyclists (or pedestrians) in case of a collision. The airbag covers the whole front window of the car and a part of the roof. A camera registers movements and as soon as a collision is detected the airbag activates itself.
Volvo trucks are developing a system that detects cyclists (and pedestrians) at the side of trucks. Lasers and sensors scan the space at the (right) side of the truck. The system gives a warning when object come too close to the truck. The chance of collisions because of the ‘blind spot’ decreases.
Night view is a system developed by Toyota. It is an addition to normal car lights. By using infrared lights it is possible to detect objects or vehicles in the dark. The images can be projected on a screen inside the car. The system is developed to improve the visibility of objects in the dark.
4. e-safety applications for cycling infrastructure
Rainsensors in traffic lights are common practice in the Netherlands these days. Cyclists get the green light faster and more often in case of rain, decreasing the waiting time. This increases the safety of cyclists, since cyclists make more red light offenses when in rains.
The Dutchman Guus van der Burgt has developed the ‘anticipating traffic light’. The target of the system is to prevent collisions with cars that cross the red light and passing cyclists. At hundred meters from a crossing, the speed of cars is measured. If the speed is too high, then the red light for cyclists is extended to prevent an accident.
In Odense (Denmark) exists a so-called Green Wave for cyclists on the most important cycle routes. Next to the cycle road stands a green light. As soon as the green light is switched on, the cyclist knows the next traffic light will be green.
5. e-safety applications on the internet
Opwegnaarschool.nl is an online programme for students to map routes from home to school. There is a possibility to report unsafe situations. Next to that, students are also educated to make them aware of potentially unsafe spots.
A company in Engeland developed CycleStreets. There is a website and a smartphone application. Both can be used to plan a cycling route. The user gets information about the distance, travel time and the amount of burned calories. Further, information about unsafe spots and busy locations is provided. Users can also upload pictures of unsafe situations.
A similar initiative is Bikewise. By sharing information about accidents, unsafe situations en theft of bicycles, cycling becomes safer.
The deliverable recommendations on standardisation, deployment and a research agenda is now available on the website. The first aim of this report ...more »