Journey tracking app will use cyclist data to make cities safer for bikes
WeCycle lets cyclists track their journeys, pooling their data to create heat maps for city planners.
Most cities were never designed to cater for the huge numbers of bikes seen on their roads every day, and as the number of cyclists grows, so do the fatality statistics thanks to limited investment in safe cycle paths. While Berlin already crowdsources bikers' favorite cycle routes and maps them through the Dynamic Connections platform, a new app called WeCycle lets cyclists track their journeys, pooling their data to create heat maps for city planners.
Created by the UK's TravelAI transport startup, WeCycle taps into the current consumer trend for quantifying every aspect of life, including journey times. By downloading the free iOS app, London cyclists can seamlessly create stats each time they get on their bike. They app runs in the background and uses the device's accelerometer to smartly distinguish walking or running from cycling. They can then see how far they've traveled, how fast they cycle and every route they've taken. Additionally, the app also tracks bus and car travel.
Anyone that downloads the app agrees that their data can be anonymously sent to TravelAI, creating an accurate and real-time information resource. It aims to create tools such as heat maps and behavior monitoring for cities and local authorities to learn more about how citizens are using roads to better inform their transport policies.
WeCycle follows in the footsteps of similar apps such as Germany's Radwende and the Toronto Cycling App — both released this year — in taking a popular trend and turning into data that could help make cities a safer place to cycle. However, organizations that go down this route will need to ensure user privacy if they're going to succeed in attracting useful user numbers. Could this model be applied to other types of activity tracking?
11th September 2014