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Stoplights get “RADICAL” in Denmark with Priority Signaling for cyclists!

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This is almost like a dream come true for bike commuters. A device that not only triggers the light to turn green, but actually gives the cyclist 1st priority! Who would want to drive a car with that kind of bonus for bikes? That is exactly what RADICAL (RApid Deployment of Intelligent Cities and Living), hopes to accomplish through their “Living Labs” in Aarhus, Demark.

Pass through the green light to see how this system works and why it could quickly transform city streets in a short period of time……

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photos c. of RADICAL Project

Everyone is trying to make things “smart”. Phones, cars, bikes, televisions, watches, homes and just about anything we interact with. So why not have a “smart city”? RADICAL looks for ways to take advantage of cities’ increasing ICT infrastructures (Information and Communications Technology such as WiFi and Broadband services), to develop ways to decrease the city’s carbon footprint and Aarhus was a perfect testing ground.

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Its no secret that bikes already have an advantage on inner city traffic since they can pass right by cars backed up in stand-still traffic. So what if you give cyclists a device that turns the light green so you don’t have to stop? RADICAL has partnered with Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark, and set up a “living lab” where they have placed transmitting devices in popular areas that sense a small powerless RFID tag (Radio Frequency Identification), that can be put on a bicycle. Once the transmitter picks up the tag, it sends a signal to the traffic light to make sure the light is green as the cyclist approaches it. The “lab” consists of 200 cyclists that were given the small powerless sensor to test how well it works.

The idea behind this seems to be if a person commuting to work realizes that they can get somewhere twice as fast if they use a bike, they will be far more likely to jump on a 2-wheeler thus reducing the amount of traffic and carbon footprint. This could be something that gets realized pretty fast based on how time focused our society has become. Plus, if more people ride, the demand for improved bicycle-friendly infrastructure will grow along with them.

RACICAL-Project.com

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CMSF
CMSF
7 years ago

Whoa…Trippy. And radical.

Milessio
Milessio
7 years ago

Hopefully it doesn’t work if the tag is carried in a car!

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

How does this work in a town full of cyclists coming from all directions? I’d rather just stop with traffic and have drivers that are aware of cyclists

Craig
Craig
7 years ago

Wow Denmark is so far ahead of the rest of the world, in many respects

Lars V
Lars V
7 years ago

Good thing!

mgr
mgr
7 years ago

In Copenhagen, an App have been developed (early stage) that tells you to speed up or down if you wanne make the next intersection. (for now only on one specific sektion on Copenhagen) You can get all the data out from the trafic lights when the change and so on. So you can match it to your speed.

There have also been some testing with green/red lights on the curb. that changes color as you ride towards the crossing. if its red you will not make it. Green you can just pedel normaly 🙂 (this version would just make me wanne try and reach the next green wave of lights :D)

WG
WG
7 years ago

Seriously, a tag is needed to activate green light? How about they used good ol’ induction loops combined with proper software? It gives the same effect and is much easier to implement as no extra effort from the user is required.

I love the idea but this is simply overdone technically.

Yannick
Yannick
7 years ago

@WG In some way you are completely right.
As that is what is happening here (the Netherlands). Bicycles get “sensed” by the traffic lights just the way cars are. Having something like this RFID tag is not nescessary for that.

However I think the idea behind it is to have the traffic light notice a cyclist way in advance, so it has time to “turn to green” at a safe moment, hopefully without the cyclist needing to slow down or stop entirely (so similar to the examples given by @MGR).

But yes, this could also be achieved with the magnet loops.
Currently they only sense you when you are at the traffic light itself..

Already standing still..

just to have it pop to green after two seconds…

I get the frustration….

WG
WG
7 years ago

Yannick – my thoughts exactly. It’s easy enough to place a loop a bit before the crossing. It’s all a matter of software – appropriate hardware is already available.

The only upside of the solution presented here is the possibility of tracking individual riders and their routes, which might be useful for road planning. But immediately there comes a worry about privacy – I don’t really feel like being checked and controlled everytime I ride my bike!

Hefin
Hefin
7 years ago

Can’t help but laugh when I see these sorts of schemes. Just so far ahead of where we are with “cycling infrastructure” in the UK it might as well on a different planet. Chapeau to the Danes!

morten Reippuert
morten Reippuert
7 years ago

sounds like its somthing new – its not, + 1/3 of the traffic in the city of copenhagen is on bicycle and the entire infrastructure is based on bicycles with 1-3 bicycle lanes everywhere there is a road (for more than 30 years)

Here is a link to a counter of one of many roads in to the city accross obe of the bridges – durring rush hours in the summer you’d oftne see 300-400 bikes in the red lights queue even though the bike line has 3 lanes (and two car lanes) http://www.bicyclecounter.dk/BicycleCounter/BC_Statistics.jsp

works pretty good and most people in the metropolitan area use their bike or public transport to get to and from work. I commute 14km each way from febuary to december. not unomal… you’d even find ministers comuting 2-5km on their bike from late spring and durring the entire summer. bicycle, metro and s-bahn is the most common way to get arround in copenhagen metropolitan erea.

DP
DP
7 years ago

Most of traffic lights in my city have cameras that ID the user. They can detect a bicycle is waiting. Now if that can be changed to not just detect the presence of someone queue but that it is a bike, it shouldn’t be difficult to give that user preference without any other tech.

John Knott
7 years ago

Aarhus, and Denmark in general is a fantastic place for a biking holiday. Saly difficult to get to now that the Harwich – Esbjerg ferry has stopped running!

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