Hacking Copenhagen with the ‘bicycle-as-a-sensor’
Very few solutions currently exist that measure, account for and integrate cycling mobility into a city’s ITS ecosystem, yet cities cannot afford to lose bicycles as methods of urban transportation. Niccolò Panozzo, Development Officer at the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), says they are too efficient, sustainable and economically beneficial to individuals and societies, and explains how the ‘Hacking Copenhagen Demonstration’ project, led by the ECF, will show the full potential of connected cycling.
EVERYDAY, thousands of Copenhageners cycle. They cycle an average of 1.34 million km per day. They fill the city, literally, but they do so quietly. An urban cyclist is a silent observer of a city’s daily life, but they don’t necessarily relay it to anyone. This is a lost opportunity, comparable to NASA sending a robot to Mars without a communication device. Bicycles are the only transportation mode that provide a journey directly door-to-door: no need for a 200m walk after parking or alighting a bus, nor having to spend 20 minutes searching for a parking space. This enables them to register accurate data about the length of time spent commuting and the quickest, most direct way of completing the journey. Moreover, bicycles don’t interfere with the environment: they move through it silently, lightly and without emitting pollution, meaning the data they collect is clean and reliable – and that’s where ITS becomes relevant.
During the ITS World Congress 2018, we will transform cyclists into data capturers and compose an accurate account of mobility in Copenhagen, more effectively than ever before. Denmark’s capital is already doing a lot to make technology serve mobility needs, but nothing as comprehensive and ambitious as this scheme has ever been attempted. Furthermore, this is a global issue that affects all cities around the world: providing a framework to leverage the information that cyclists gather could be a game changer in the future development of SUMPs, MaaS or IoT. We call this ‘smarter cycling’.
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