Collisions between cyclists and motorized vehicles can be a result of a failure in the perception or poor judgement of other road users. In most of the reported crashes, the cyclist was in the driver’s field of view. It is well known that detection of bicycles can be affected by their shape, the luminance of the environment, and the presence of headlights, shadows, sounds, movements and colour of the bicycle.
ITS based on image processing or radar technologies would be suitable to locate the cyclists and warn the drivers accordingly. Cyclists are not at fault in more than 50% of crashes involving other vehicles, indicating that ITS intervention on vehicles could likely have a strong impact for reducing injuries and fatalities. However, a system should reinforce the driver’s attention instead of supplanting it.
The innovative aspect of XCYCLE is the focus on bicycles as users who have distinctive needs and behaviours from those of other VRUs such as pedestrians or motorcycle riders. Passive or active detection, to increase the visibility of cyclists, can be a practical and viable solution. The use of on-bike technology to protect cyclists is still in its infancy.
According to VRUITS (2014), two most critical scenarios have been identified: 1) Vehicle pulling out into the path of an oncoming cyclist; 2) vehicle turning into the cyclist’s path. This shows that the risk for cyclists is associated with their low visual conspicuity, but it is also due to the fact that the drivers do not expect them to be there. It should be also considered that the larger is the size of the vehicles, the smaller is the field of direct vision, so that larger blind spot areas arise.
XCYCLE will develop innovative methods, that will be tested both in the Driving Simulator and in real-life conditions.
The technology will be developed and tested at the University of Leeds thanks to the Driving Simulator (UoLDS), one of the most advanced worldwide in a research environment. It allows performing research about the drivers’ behaviour in accurately controlled and repeatable conditions. The simulator provides an ideal development environment for the design and test of the in-vehicle HMI for informing and warning vehicles’ drivers of the cyclists’ presence. Visual, auditory and haptic alternatives will be compared.
The simulator provides an ideal development environment for the design and test of the in-vehicle HMI for informing and warning vehicles’ drivers of the cyclists’ presence. Visual, auditory and haptic alternatives will be compared.