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October 20, 2022 3 min read

BACKGROUND 

From December 2019 until April 2021, over 500 cyclists in Oxford contributed their ride insights as part of a See.Sense Smart Cycling project in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, Smart Oxford and Milton Park. This project provided the opportunity for citizens and the council to work together by identifying areas that can be improved for safety, and by providing data about how cyclists are using the cycling network. 


WHAT RIDE INSIGHTS WERE SHARED?

Project participants purchased a discounted See.Sense ACE bicycle light and opted in to share their ride insights with the project, which included quantitative sensor data such as speed, braking, swerving and road surface quality, and qualitative data in the form of geolocated survey feedback shared via an in-app survey. 


SEE.SENSE COLLECTS STANDARDISED DATA SET ON RIDE INSIGHTS 


WHO WAS ON THE PROJECT?

There were a total of 518 participants over the course of the project. Of those who shared their gender and age information, just over 25% identify as female and there was a good age split amongst participants, with the largest group being the 40-55 age group. 

Over the course of the project, covid lockdown restrictions had an impact on the number of people cycling.  

Nevertheless, there were still over 40,000 miles covered during the project allowing some interesting insights to be gathered, and allowed travel patterns pre Covid and during restrictions to be analysed.  

WHAT DID WE FIND OUT?

This section contains a number of high level snapshots of ride insights shared through the project. The insights in these images have been heavily aggregated with a single average value representing the insights collected within a 10metre x 10metre square. These values are then only visualised if 3 or more distinct cyclists have cycled within that square. 


MAPPING ROUTE POPULARITY

Over the course of the project, routes running through the centre of the city proved to be the most popular. During lockdown restrictions less data was collected but it is clear that some routes outside the city centre became more popular during this time. 

MAPPING AVERAGE SPEED

Higher speeds can be seen on the outskirts of the city, with lower speeds concentrated in the city centre.  

MAPPING SWERVING 

Higher levels of swerving are observed in the city centre of Oxford. 

MAPPING BRAKING 

As expected, higher levels of braking were seen in the city centre and highlighted 3 roads where the most heavy braking occurred. 

MAPPING ROAD SURFACE 

Rougher road surfaces were seen in the city centre and highlighted 3 roads with rough road surfaces. Two of these roads were also highlighted as locations with heavy braking. 

WHAT YOU TOLD US

Throughout the project geolocated post ride surveys were submitted by participants via the app. This allowed cyclists to highlight issues such as close passes, collisions, potholes and obstructions they had experienced in Oxford. 


COVERAGE 

 

"The collaboration with See.Sense provided us with a very innovative set of data that helped assess the need for active travel infrastructure and identify dangerous roads and intersections. The distributed network of smart bike sensors complements our static cameras and traffic surveys, enhancing the robustness and filling in gaps in our data. Innovative companies like See.Sense are a key partner for local authorities in helping us transform our cities and towns – even in already-established cycling cities like Oxford (and beyond)."

Joaquim Muntané
Active and Healthy Travel Officer
Oxfordshire County Council