Like many places across the globe, in Victoria, Australia, little was known about the road safety issues facing local cyclists. In turn, this left a gap in knowledge and limited evidence to inform road safety improvements in the area.
Local authorities therefore felt a ‘strong and immediate need to investigate innovative methods to ensure the safety of vulnerable road users, particularly cyclists.’ They needed to breach the gap of information, and luckily, this is where See.Sense lights came shining through.
In 2021, See.Sense teamed up with the State of Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC), iMove Cooperative Research Centre, and Deakin University, to launch the LiT (Innovative Light Insights) project; a project that would gather insights on local cycling to find out how to improve road safety for cyclists.
Now, two years later, the results are in for LiT, so let’s take a look at what the project found.
How LIT Worked
800 cyclists took part in the trial, with the cohort being selected to include cyclists of different genders, ages and abilities to gather data over a 12 month period.
They did this by fitting their bike with the See.Sense patented rear lights in combination with their smartphones to collect data.
Not only did See.Sense lights help to improve participant visibility, but the AI-Enabled sensor technology within these lights recorded data on crash events, near miss incidents, abrupt acceleration and deceleration, swerving, road conditions, average speeds, and dwell time.
Using theSee.Sensemobile app, participants could also complete reports on events encountered on their ride, such as a perceived near miss event, close passes or potholes, as well as use the app to make infrastructure requests.
Participants in the project really enjoyed taking part in the project. Watch this video to find out more from one of the participants:
The data collected from the project was compiled into a dashboard by Deakin University to conduct analysis and visualisation.
This dashboard allowed the data to be filtered by time period and area, for individual or multiple road segments, by road type, and so on.
Through this data dashboard, the analysts at Deakin University were able to cross-examine data recorded by the See.Sense lights with the contextual information of where this data was recorded. Together, our teams were able to find concrete, tangible results.
Thanks to See.Sense technology, the Australian analysts were able to access "a rich dataset for future research and analysis. The data is objective, and has the potential to inform policy changes related to speed management, cycling promotion, bicycle infrastructure, geofencing, and e-bikes. The potential policy impacts of the trial underscore the importance of ongoing investments in the trial.”
This data also sets a precedent for creating new and robust cyclist communication and engagement strategies that can benefit other areas of road safety.
For example, one suggested communication strategy is the promotion of safer cycling routes for school children based on the new risk-area data.
The report recommends expansion of the trial to areas outside of Melbourne and Geelong to create a network of advocates who can offer real-time data that is currently unavailable.
Further work would not only benefit cyclists, but could, in the future, inform investments related to the ever-growing number of e-scooters and e-bikes entering the Australian transport ecosystem.
Ashim Debnath, Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering Discipline and Associate Professor of Transportation Engineering at Deakin University said that;
“The Light Insights Trial has successfully investigated and proved the potential of crowd-sourced ride data in generating road safety insights by combining the ride data with a range of contextual data related to road infrastructure, road geometry, and traffic control characteristics.”
Meanwhile, David Young, Acting Manager in Road Safety Research, Insights and Evaluation at TAC stated that;
“The Light Insights Trial has shown us the potential for technology to engage and invigorate a key community group on the topic of road safety and how Road Safety professionals and agencies can work with them to deliver the best outcomes. We’ve been overwhelmed by the support and passion shown from trial participants and key stakeholders and will continue to develop our engagement in this area through continued work with this cohort of riders.”
The following video provides an overview of the trial:
Here at See.Sense, we are proud to be part of such a groundbreaking project and are eager to get involved in more city developing projects to come.
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