New Technology Can Enhance the Cycling Experience

Innovative smart sensor and app could help people get the most out of urban cycling.

Dec 18, 2021
New Technology Can Enhance the Cycling Experience | Innovative smart sensor and app could help people get the most out of urban cycling.

Are your childhood memories intrinsically linked with cycling? Perhaps you even remember the  pride of getting your first bike on your birthday, complete with  streamers coming out of the handlebars, and the thrill of coasting down the tallest hill in town?

As children, biking gave us independence, a sense of self, adventure and excitement. But city biking poses challenges to us as adults. App developer, Omar Bakhshi, hopes to smooth out the bumps in our biking journeys. 

Why choose to bike?
Walk, Roll and Peel reminds us that we were correct as children when we begged our parents to let us go biking. Biking confers a number of “life changing” benefits on its riders.

As a cardiovascular exercise, biking fights obesity and heart disease as well as building muscles, and giving us those feel-good endorphins and a self confidence boost. It’s also fun!

Switching up to cycling for the morning commute reduces noise and air pollutants and cuts down on greenhouse gasses. In other words, it’s a clean and green (and fun) way to get to work if you live close enough. 

Not to mention that cycling is cheaper than putting your car through the wear and tear of traffic and the daily commute.

Making cycling safer
With all the benefits, and so few drawbacks, to biking, why aren’t there more bikers on city roads? Good Ordering conducted  a survey and found out that the number one factor preventing people from biking to work was “perception of road safety.” 

Sharing the road with cars can be dangerous (especially for non-helmet wearers). UK based Developer Omar Bakhshi experienced this firsthand when a car side swiped him leaving him with an injury that impacted his taste and smell for life.

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A post shared by Omar Bakhshi (@omarinnit)

Bakhshi realized that what happened to him wasn’t unusual. Because bikers often experience close calls with cars, Bakhshi set out to make the roads safer to share. He started a company, Tether, profiled on Kickstarter, to improve safety conditions for urban cyclists.

A safety zone for cyclists
Fast Company describes Tether’s device. The company is launching a small smart sensor that goes on a bike’s handlebars. As the biker rides through the city, the device projects a “safety zone” of lights onto the pavement. 

The hope is that these lights will force cars to sit up and pay attention to the rules of sharing the road. If cars get too close to biker’s personal spaces, the lights will start blinking.

What makes Bakhshi’s device different to similar devices on the market is its smart features. Tether’s tool collects data from close call biking encounters. The data is organized into a central database and can be used to determine which streets are safer for cyclists.

Where does the data go?
Not only can bikers access the data when choosing a route (in order to avoid areas that have a high number of close encounters with cars), but Bakhshi plans to share the data with the UK government.

The UK hopes to improve its road safety infrastructure and has budgeted 1 billion pounds to pedestrian and biking routes. Bakhshi’s dacould go a long way into ensuring that these pounds are used properly

Walking, biking, driving and mass transit all have different advantages and disadvantages. When they can all share road safety awareness, everyone gets where they need to go quickly and safely.

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Adina is a writer who believes in the transformative power of words. She understands that everyone has a valuable story to tell. Adina’s goal is to learn new things every day and share her discoveries with others.