Bikes shed light on town planning

Smart bike lights in the UK are being used to collect cycling data and feedback for town planners to utilise in improving bike riding routes.

See.Sense, the company who make the artificial intelligence-powered bike lights are adding a new feature to their free up called 'Infrastructure Request' which allows riders to drop pins and make comments on area of improvement along their route.

For users who opt-in to data sharing, the lights also monitor bike rides and showcase data about user riding habits, with all anonymised data and feedback collected then visible on the See.Sense website.

This data could soon be used by local authorities in infrastructure planning to improve routes in response to the coronavirus pandemic, aiding the UK Government's £2 billion plan to improve infrastructure for cycling and walking last month.

SeeSense founders Philip and Irene McAleese, courtesy CrowdCube, the platform their using to crowdfund the new project.

See.Sense co-founder Irene McAleese said “this is a great opportunity for the thriving cycling community in the UK to come together and help make our cities safer, cleaner and more enjoyable places to cycle and walk. That’s why our app is free to everybody who wants to contribute to this effort.

“We understand that city planners and local authorities need robust evidence and a data-led approach when applying to receive additional Government funding for cycling infrastructure in their local area. Previously, that data might have been incomplete or anecdotal because there was no established way of gathering cyclist data.

“We want to use our technology to make a positive impact, especially in response to COVID-19, which is why all planners and local authorities will be able to request free reports for their area simply by registering online throughout the summer.”

They've already began carried out trials of infrastructure reports in several towns and cities including Dublin and Manchester.

Like us here in Australia, the UK has seen a massive increase in bike riding numbers as a result of the pandemic, and Mrs McAleese said the tests so far have shown “cyclists are definitely very willing” to share data and are “really motivated to see changes happen."

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