08:49am Saturday 21 October 2017

Cyclists get say on new QUT safety app: CARRS-Q study

CARRS-Q road safety researcher Dr Sebastien Demmel is designing a new app to warn cyclists of an impending crash.

The app known as GoSafeCycle is being developed by QUT’s Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) and uses smartphone technology to allow cars and bikes to talk to each other.

Dr Sebastien Demmel said GoSafeCycle worked thanks to advanced sensing and communication capabilities available in most smartphones today.

“The app has been designed to locate, track, connect and communicate between devices and warn riders and drivers if there is a reasonable chance of a collision,” Dr Demmel said.

“The idea is based on using existing GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth systems to allow the ‘sharing’ of information between road users.

“For example, if a cyclist and driver are both approaching an intersection at speed, the app will be able to predict impending danger and warn both to slow down.”

Dr Demmel said before GoSafeCycle was released to the public, researchers were now looking for rider feedback with the view of adding additional safety features.

“As an example, we are looking at adding an automatic detection alert function that notifies emergency services and relatives if a rider crashes and falls,” he said.

“The app could also be used to report incidents, dangerous areas and road defects to relevant state and local government authorities.”

Dr Demmel said it was essential to know what cyclists wanted included in an app designed for cyclists.

“What people tell us will be used to improve the design of GoSafeCycle to best meet the needs of cyclists and also help ensure the app is accepted by the riding community.”

With an average of 35 cyclists dying on Australian roads each year and more than 2500 others seriously injured, Dr Demmel said crashes involving cars and cyclists were too common.

“Research has shown that most cyclist fatalities involve a collision with a motor vehicle and these typically occur because of human error, or one not seeing the other,” he said.

“What our research is aiming to do is use technology to help prevent injury and improve cyclist safety on our roads.”

To have your say, visit http://survey.qut.edu.au/f/181092/10ce/

How GoSafeCycle works

•Start the app and choose a user type: cyclist, driver
•The phone looks for other phones using the same app
•When another user is detected, communication starts automatically
•Each phone predicts its movement up to 10 seconds in the future
•The app calculates the risk of collision and notifies users of via a risk index between 1 and 5
•The app will warn the user of the risk level via a colour-coded alert sign

Media contact:
Sandra Hutchinson, QUT Media (Tue, Wed), 07 3138 9449 or media@qut.edu.au
After hours, Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901


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