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Smart bike light promises cycle safety boost


An intelligent bike light which could improve cycle safety and inform future infrastructure upgrades has been developed by data analytics experts at Queen’s University Belfast in partnership with a local company.

The light, originally created by tech start-up See.Sense, uses advanced sensor technology to monitor and react to its environment, helping to make the cyclist visible when they most need to be.

University researchers have since worked with the company to develop the technology further, with additional sensors now also able to collect information on the road surface in real time and analyse the cyclist’s activity.

This latest update means that by applying advanced analytics and data visualisation, anonymised data collected by the light could be aggregated to help plan better infrastructure and create smart cities.

It also means the light can detect if a cyclist has had an accident or near miss and could alert local authorities if a road needs repairing.

Professor Adele Marshall from Queen’s University’s School of Maths and Physics commented: “This research is a really exciting development in data analytics. We have been able to work with See.Sense to help make cycling safer and more enjoyable, and at the same time show how data can be used to create a smart and safer city.

She added: “The analytics can detect when the surface of the road changes and can pick up if a cyclist has had an accident. The light will also identify hotspots or places that cyclists should take extra care with, when in a particular environment or location.

“This information could also be used by a local council to identify when a road needs to be repaired or when improvements to infrastructure should be made.”

The bike lights are currently on sale and closed data trials are under way in several cities around the world.