Connected cycle light wins top prize in smart cities competition

A smart bicycle light fitted with data-collecting sensors was recently named overall winner of the BT Infinity Lab SME Awards 2016: Connected Cities.

Northern Ireland-based See.Sense took the £15,000 top prize for its ICON intelligent and connected cycle light, which was judged to have the greatest potential to make a difference to the cities of the future, BT said.

Sensors in the light enable it to be bright where and when it needs to be, and save its battery when it doesn’t. They also collect data about road surfaces, light levels, crashes and near miss-events — information that can be anonymised and used by city planners to create better cycling infrastructure and smart cities.

For example, the data could help identify hotspots where there are more crashes and near misses, highlighting priority areas for investment in the cycling infrastructure, and identify potholes before they are fully formed so that cities can repair them at lower cost before they become hazards.

As part of its prize, See.Sense was given the opportunity to work with the city of Milton Keynes to turn its ideas into reality.

Irene McAleese, co-founder of the company, told UKAuthority that the trial in Milton Keynes is due to begin this month, following a series of small scale beta trials in Northern Ireland.

The council is supplying the lights to cyclists, and the data generated will be shared with the MK Data Hub.

“Once our data goes to the Milton Keynes hub they can look at it in the context of all the other data they collect as a smart city,” McAleese explained. “It makes for a really useful way of combining different pieces of data to build a rich view of the city and extrapolate different pieces of data.

“Our data can be part of its ecosystem of data.”

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