BT has launched a trial of ‘smart’ cycle lights to help make cycling safer in and around Ipswich.
The Internet of Things (IoT) lights – designed and built by See.Sense, a start-up that won the BT Infinity Awards in 2016 – use advanced sensor technology to monitor their environment. They flash brighter and faster in riskier situations, such as at junctions and roundabouts, and can be paired with a smartphone app for additional connected features including crash detection and theft alerts.
Over the next 12 months, 200 volunteers from BT’s Adastral Park technology campus and the surrounding area will trial the smart lights on their bikes.
As they travel around Adastral Park and Ipswich, the lights will also collect data on ride conditions encountered by cyclists, including road surface conditions, chosen routes and traffic hotspot areas, explained Professor John Davies, BT’s chief researcher for future business technology.
The aim is to build up a picture of the way people use cycle routes in and around Ipswich. This data will then be used by the company and shared with Suffolk County Council to help improve cycling conditions.
“The smart lights send information to BT’s IoT Data Hub allowing BT to combine the anonymised trial data with other factors such as weather,” Davies said. “This will demonstrate route preferences and reveal the conditions under which people choose not to cycle — helping to identify areas for improvement. The data gathered by the cycling trialists will be crucial for improving the cycling experience and encouraging more people to consider this green mode of transport.“