Could this Cycling App Actually Save Lives?
What can we do to make road cycling safer? That’s the question that has prompted scholarly articles, new inventions and, occasionally, a few infrastructure changes.
Thanks to those advancements, we have identified a few key elements to safer city cycling. More cyclists out on the roads means a safer trip, bike share cycles are well designed for safety and protected lanes go a very long way in reducing major accidents. While that information is helpful, most cities won’t be undergoing a total redesign anytime soon, so what else can be done to protect cyclist’s lives?
That’s where TheBikeShieldApp comes in. Their website describes the free app as a “First Layer Crash Avoidance Technology mobile app which establishes communication between cars, motorcycles and bicycles that are sharing the road.” It works by alerting car drivers about bicycles or motorcycles in the area. The app triggers an audible tone five to 10 seconds before the driver would normally see or hear the cycle, preparing them for the interaction and hopefully keeping accidents from happening.
For drivers, the app launches and notifies automatically when the phone’s accelerometer realizes you’re driving. For cyclists, just one touch will turn the app, and your signal to other cars, on. Additionally safety features include a “users map,” which will allow cyclists to choose the safest route based on other users data and a “no text zone” option that will temporarily disable distracting messages from coming through.
TheBikeShieldApp is a prime example of how technology can be intelligently applied in the real world to improve daily life and safety. The only clear issue at this point is that in order for the app to be useful, drivers, cyclists and motorcyclists all need to download and use the app. Without a large scale user base, the app isn’t very helpful.
Currently, the free app is available on the Google Play Store. Only 100 users have downloaded the app, but the four star rating is a good sign. According to their website, it’s coming to the Apple App Store soon.
What do you think, would you use this app? Do you think it will gain a large enough user base to be effective? Tweet at us or comment below.