Belfast City Council and Dublin City Councils are to use technology from See.Sense, a Northern Ireland-based bicycle technology company, to record issues with the cycling environments in separate projects covering the two cities.
Belfast will use 200 sensors fitted to Belfast Bikes, and Dublin is looking for 500 individuals to attach the company’s ICON sensor-enabled bicycle lights to their own bikes, the light is to be offered at a subsided price
See.Sense said that their sensors will anonymously gather data on the cyclist’s environment such as the quality of the road surface, cycling routes, accidents and near-miss events — “providing accurate qualitative data and allowing the city to be mapped like never before”.
The Dublin project is described as “the world’s largest connected cycle light pilot” — 500 people who have access to an Android phone will be offered the lights at a heavily subsided price of €20 (RRP €90). Those who wish to take part can register via smartdublin.ie/see.sense. The scheme will run from August to November 2017.
The ICON lights also use sensors to flash brighter and faster in riskier situations such as road junctions and roundabouts.
Jamie Cudden, Smart City program manager for Dublin City Council said: “Dublin is an ideal place to test new and emerging smart city technologies. We are delighted to work with See.Sense to expose the city to fresh thinking in how we embrace new technologies. This project is one of four smart cycle pilots that we have funded with the support of Enterprise Ireland and is helping to put Dublin on the map for cycle and technology innovation”.
As Irene McAleese, Co-founder of See.Sense said: “The Smart Dublin Cycle Challenge is providing us with a unique opportunity to engage with the various city council departments and Dublin’s cycling community to test our innovative ICON technology. We work with data science experts at Queen’s University Belfast to gain meaningful insights from the data and to develop a scaleable solution that can be applied to any city in the world.”
Edel Kelly, Senior Executive Planner for Dublin City Council said: “We are excited by the potential for this project. There are a wide range of use cases that we see possible from the real-time sensor data collected from these lights. The data collected by the trial participants will be used to help us develop a safer and better cycling experience for Dublin.”
She added: “Projects like this act as an important precursor to Dublin hosting the global cycling congress Velo City in 2019 of which a key theme will focus on smart cycling technologies”.
Commenting on the Belfast project, lord mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister, said: “We are delighted to collaborate on this world-first pilot project. It allows us to access innovative technology for the collection and analysis of data, which can be applied to make cycling safer and more enjoyable for everyone in our city.”