A new technology is being developed in the UK to help drivers avoid bikes by using audio alerts, it is entitled Cycle Eye.
A partnership between companies and Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Sussex and Surrey universities is focusing on enterprises by helping start-up tech companies gain access to funding. Cycle Eye was was born out of the Bristol University innovation centre.
“We’ve developed a very intelligent system using radar and image processing. We can tell what objects are and the system can still identify cyclists in poor visibility and bad conditions,” says Mr Hutchinson, chief executive of Fusion Processing, the company which created Cycle Eye.
The device was involved in trials by Transport for London and over 3 days of testing had a 98.5% success rate at identifying cyclists, intensive imminent trialling could dictate that Cycle Eye will go in to production next year.
The unit is fitted to the outside of a bus on the driver’s left hand side. Using radar and camera sensors it identifies whether an object along side the vehicle is a cyclist and gives the driver an audio alert, typically “cyclist left”. The team say technology like this is only used in the military. The system is different to others already on the market, they say, because the detection algorithm allows the device to differentiate between a cyclist and other objects on the side of the road such as lampposts, railings and other vehicles.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “With technologies of this type, the key thing is to trial them to make sure they work reliably. It’s also important to make sure that they do not overload the driver with too many things to check and too many alerts to interpret.”
Protests about Bike safety
After the deaths of six cyclists in two weeks last month in London, is considered a huge issue, and there have been protests across the city ever since. Cyclists are trying to convince TFL to take precautions for the massive boom in cyclists in the city, and are hoping for a better infrastructure.
One ‘death protest’ saw 1,000 cyclists lie down outside the headquarters of Transport for London in what was dubbed a ‘die-in’.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has been voicing his concerns about the danger of the mass protests
‘I understand the anger and concern about this terrible spate of tragedies. I share it,’ Mr Johnson told a City Hall safety summit for cycle and haulage groups.
‘The number of cyclists killed in London this year was too many – but it is in fact precisely the same as it was at this point last year, and less than the year before.’
‘Of course I accept that people want to create pressure for action to get more Londoners cycling.
‘But the risk is that the association of cycling with death may be doing the opposite. It may be scaring people away.’
Hopefully Cycle Eye is effective.