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Vehicle to bicycle (V2B) safety interactions using 4G mobile devices

Photo by Andrew Gook on Unsplash
Photo by Andrew Gook on Unsplash

This proof-of-concept (PoC) project aims to develop a Vehicle to Bicycle (V2B) communication system to reduce collisions and enhance driver awareness of potential conflicts with people riding bicycles.


Project background

Cyclist interactions with vehicles at intersections and urban road environments are a significant crash risk factor. Drivers’ poor visibility and shortage of response time are the major causes to bicycle crashes.

There are a range of rider assistance devices and services available in the market, however none of these provide an integrated and connected service for drivers and riders alike.

For example, existing products include:

  • Cycle computers: Can track riding and cyclist metrics, with more advanced products offering radar-based technology to provide riders with awareness of approaching vehicles from behind. Existing products can’t share real-time data between cyclists and drivers to enable more proactive alerts.
  • Cycle apps: Can provide cycling statistics and user community platforms. Some existing products offer near real-time location tracking for the purposes of sharing with family and friends, however not for the broader intent of road safety outcomes.
  • Bespoke telemetry for bikes: Can provide bespoke services to some customers but are usually priced at a premium and work only with specific products. These bespoke products usually don’t integrate with other services.
  • Infrastructure based sensors: Can provide improved detection and awareness of bike riders where there are sensing assets deployed and can integrate into traffic control systems. However, costs to deploy physical technology across the network can be high, and there is the opportunity to leverage bring-your-own consumer devices.

There is a need for an innovative application that satisfies the following requirements:

  • Focused on improving cyclist safety
  • Real-time data sharing
  • Open access platform and service to widen community engagement
  • Based on existing and emerging technologies, technically achievable at a reasonable cost
  • No reliance on additional road infrastructure
  • Reuse of existing rider assistance/mobile devices or technology wherever possible

This project is partially funded through the TMR’s Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative (CAVI). The technology components of this project will not interoperate with other CAVI projects. This project will engage with other CAVI teams to gain insights, learnings and ensure interoperability is not ruled out in the future.

Project objectives

The overall objective of the project is to develop a V2B system to enhance driver awareness of potential conflicts with people riding bicycles, thus reducing collisions. The specific objectives for the project are as follows:

  • To determine V2B system performance requirements considering:

a.) message standards, frequency, latency, scalability, topic structure and optimisation,
b.) alignment with V2X standards
c.) message server limitations, requirements and operational costs

  • To develop a system using current technology 4G LTE mobile broadband services and mobile application aligned with the V2B system requirements determined above
  • To perform testing and demonstrations to verify real-world system performance and learn where future efforts need to be focused

The following research questions are to be addressed:

  • How have the cyclist-vehicle safety problems been technically addressed elsewhere?
  • Is V2B feasible with current technology existing 4G LTE mobile broadband services?
  • Do the current V2X specifications adequately address the safety of people riding bicycles? If not, what needs to change?
  • How should the V2B system be designed to ensure scalability for future large-scale application?
  • What level of positioning is necessary to deliver a reliable V2B system?
  • Is road topology information required to deliver a reliable V2B system?
  • How much does the PoC system depend on bicycle trajectory prediction to function?
  • Was the V2B system able to meet the performance requirements and make a practical difference to the overall objective of reducing collisions and enhancing driver awareness?

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