Norway’s Traffic Agent app turns students into secret agents, reporting the good and the bad of Oslo’s streets as they go about their daily travels.
It’s unlikely that cars will ever completely disappear, so cities are finding ways to help two wheels and four wheels safely co-exist. In-ground LED lights warn cars when a cyclist is approaching, and this app provides a driver’s safety performance report after each journey. In Norway, as part of a project to get more citizens walking and cycling, Oslo’s Traffic Agent app gives young school children a way to report street safety.
Initially focusing on home-to-school routes, the app assigns each child an agent number. The agents then log safe or unsafe conditions they come across in their travel to school. The app was developed by the Agency of Urban Environment, the Norwegian Centre for Transport Research and the Oslo City Teaching Agency, in consultation with children. And the Traffic Agent team is working closely with parent-teacher associations to get as many schools and children as possible involved in the project.
In the near future, Oslo’s city planners plan to ban cars from the city center but an urban environment that is safe for pedestrians and cyclists is an important first step. How could driverless cars be developed to become allies of cyclists?