BikeCOM – A cooperative safety application supporting cyclists and drivers at intersections
Paper in proceedings, 2013
In 2009, 2334 cyclists died while riding bicycles in Europe. Many of those accidents occurred at road intersections, typically involved one vehicle and one bicycle, and were caused by distraction of either of the driver or the cyclist.
This study describes the development and verification of a cooperative application able to prevent this type of accidents by warning both the driver and the cyclist in case of an imminent threat. This application runs on Android smartphones and relies on bicycle-to-vehicle communication to exchange safety relevant information.
Naturalistic cycling data from the BikeSAFE and BikeSAFER projects was used to identify the safety critical situation to be addressed. This safety critical situation was described with use cases to envision different application scenarios and derive technical and functional requirements. After the prototype implementation, a pilot test was performed to 1) test the application, 2) develop a data analysis tools, and 3) design the protocol for a larger experiment. Both a bicycle and a car were used in this larger experiment to recreate the safety critical situation in a controlled real-traffic scenario.
Results from this experiment show that cooperative applications based on smartphones and connecting bicycles and cars are feasible and desirable, however present limitations on positioning and latency strongly limit their reliability.