The Image and Video Processing Group (GPI) and the Remote Sensing Research Group (RSLAB) of the UPC are participating in RideSafeUM, a project led by CARNET and co-funded by the EIT Urban Mobility. This is an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. RideSafeUM emerged in response to the need to make micromobility safer and promote the use of transport modes that are key for the future of our mobility systems. The project will bring micromobility safety benefits to users, public authorities, and operators through the use of innovative technology.
The micromobility sector has grown exponentially in our cities. While bicycles have been a common mode of transport popular for a while and bike-sharing systems started blooming in the mid-2000s, the unprecedented growth in micromobility offer that our cities have witnessed since the mid-2010s can surely be classed as a revolution. At the same time, micromobility has presented itself as a deal-breaker when it comes to solving some of our most pressing urban mobility challenges. However, the full potential of micromobility has not yet been exploited. Safety is one of these key issues and is considered one of the most important aspects to consider to increase user engagement, that is, commitment to regular use, of those who adopt these new models of mobility.
RideSafeUM will allow proactive prevention of accidents involving personal mobility vehicles and the gathering of data to increase knowledge, make appropriate policies and carry out better management of micromobility in our cities.
The solution that has been developed is based on an application for mobile phones that integrates computer-vision software based on artificial intelligence, an accident detection system and other functionalities. This application informs users in real time of the micromobility restrictions that are applied at each point in time. In addition, through a control panel, the authorities in each city can analyse the data generated to identify the most problematic zones and infrastructures in terms of micromobility. At the same time, alerts will be sent to the authorities if an accident occurs, using a black-box function similar to that of airplanes. Through this, every time there is an accident a video of the last ten seconds before the accident will be sent to the control panel, so that they city can determine the causes.
During the months of September, October, November and December, pilot tests will be carried out in Barcelona, Roma and Thessalonica. The solution is designed to be adaptable and valid for shared micromobility services and privately owned devices.
UPC’s participation is focused on the development of a computer-vision algorithm based on AI to identify the type of lane that the RideSafeUM user is travelling on that has been integrated into the application. In addition, the UPC is responsible for creating an accident detection system using the gyroscope data of the mobile device.
In addition to the UPC and CARNET, the members of the consortium are Barcelona City Council with technological support from the Municipal Institute of Information Technology (IMI), Roma Mobilità, Thessaloniki Major Development Agency, Dott and Thessbike, Applus IDIADA, BRAINBOX and FACTUAL, the Hellas Research and Technology Centre (CERTH).
The project will last a year and has a total budget of €723,497.
Objective: Improve safety and promote the use of micromobility
Expected results: A smartphone application that informs users in real time about the micromobility restrictions that are applied at each point in time. In addition, through a control panel, the authorities in each city can analyse the data that are generated to identify the most problematic areas and infrastructure in terms of micromobility.