Victoria to trial 'smart' bike light tech to up road safety for cyclists

The state is using the tech to capture road safety data from cyclists over a 12-month trial. Melbourne also has hubs to charge your phone for free.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor
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Image: Getty Images

The Victorian government has announced a trial using smart bike light technology that it hopes will assist in finding new ways to reduce road trauma in cyclists.

"Cyclists are among our most vulnerable road users because they don't have the same protection as people in vehicles and are exposed to greater risk of death or injury when the unexpected happens," a statement from Premier Daniel Andrews said.

The 12-month light insights trial (LIT) will see 1,000 Victorians given access to a smart bike light from Northern Ireland cycling technology company See.Sense that the state will use to capture road safety data.

See also: Telstra and Arenberg develop 5G bike helmet prototype

The tech will gather data such as crash events, near-miss incidents, abrupt acceleration and deceleration, swerving, road conditions, average speeds, dwell time, and rider feedback.

Andrews said the light operates with a smartphone app, which transmits the data.

The Transport Accident Commission, alongside See.Sense, developed the trial with research partners Deakin University and iMOVE CRC. The See.Sense light has been trialled with government authorities in Dublin, London, the Netherlands, and Manchester.

The Premier said data from the LIT will provide insights into how people ride and what can impact their safety. It could also help inform future policy planning and infrastructure improvements for cyclists, he added.

Elsewhere in Victoria, the state has touted the success of its free mobile charging facilities.

The units are installed across Melbourne's eight CBD and inner-city train stations, with Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll announcing they have been used more than 9,000 times.

The units are operational at Flinders Street, Flagstaff, Melbourne Central, Parliament, Richmond, North Melbourne, South Yarra, and Southern Cross Station.

A total of 168 phones can be charged at any given time.

All stations except Melbourne Central include charging units located in non-ticketed areas and are accessible to the public, with the capacity to charge various smartphones including iOS and Android devices.

The charging units look like vending machines and are similar to the pay-for-use charging stations in shopping centres and airports but are free to use.

"Having a full phone battery will benefit those who use the PTV app and those who use our new online tool, Ridespace, to get real-time information on how busy or quiet their train will be before they board," a statement from Carroll said.


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