A new smart device has been developed to discourage cyclists from using their mobile device while on the move.
Dutch telecommunications company KPN has collaborated with Traffic Safety Netherlands (VVN) to create a smart bicycle lock that block calls when the user is cycling. The lock works by communicating with an app that blocks the mobile network once the bike lock is removed. Once unlocked, the device sends a signal to the KPN network to put data and telephone connectivity on hold, with the exception of the emergency number 112. The app can currently be downloaded to Android phones.
The lock was created following a hike in the number of cycling accidents reported to be linked with smartphone use. One in five bicycle accidents in children are said to be caused by using smartphones while on the go, with 441 children being injured and 12 killed in the Netherlands in 2015 alone. A study commissioned by KPN also found that even phone vibrations in a cyclist’s pocket or sound notifications from social media apps and messaging immediately reduces attention away from the road.
The cycling world has been revolutionised by technology in recent months, with an app that allows employers to reward staff for biking to work and a cycling bell that beams inside cars being just two innovations covered by Springwise of late. How else can technology help cycling become a safer mode of transport?