The drive for cycling to become a major mode of transportation, whether due to personal ownership of a bicycle or via bike sharing services, is becoming significant. One thing, however, that prevents widespread adoption is bicycle theft. Though this is more significant for those opting for personal ownership, it is still a problem for bike sharing service providers, too.
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See Sense Enabling Cyclists to See Sense of Their Bicycles
See Sense is a Northern Irish local company offering a variety of different sensors, trackers, and bicycle lights to enable safer usage of bicycles for cyclists. Over the last six years, See Sense has developed a range of smart sensors that adapt to riders’ surroundings to make them more visible to other road users and has now released its new bicycle tracker, which will announce when a bicycle has moved or is being moved from its original place.
The company’s new AIR tracking system uses Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology to both enable immediate alerts when something is happening to the equipment it’s attached to that shouldn’t and preserve battery power. The tracking systems offer ride insights, instant warnings, and crash alerts, all through a connected application on the bicycle owner’s smartphone.
NB-IoT Networking the Trackers Way to Accuracy
The new tracking device offered for bicycles has an effect similar to the “find my smartphone” features that are offered on most smartphones nowadays. The sensor allows for location pinpointing down to a couple of meters. However, this is only applicable with good network coverage.
The alert system that is present within the tracker enables two different modes: Fight and Flight. The self-defensive Fight mode makes bystanders aware that a bicycle is being stolen, and the Flight setting allows the GPS location to be transmitted to its users’ smartphone, which means that the bicycle’s location is constantly known and users’ minds can be at ease.
Using smart trackers for bicycles enables users to be set at peace about their equipment and makes life easier for insurance companies, primarily due to the ability to track a bicycle’s location in instances in which a bike has been reported stolen, which minimizes the numbers of claims for stolen goods. Therefore, insurers could even lower insurance prices due to the extra security this tracker offers.
Vandals No More-Sharing Service Providers Can Track Bicycle Health
A lot of bike sharing service providers have had to pull operations from specific cities due to the vandalism and theft of their bicycles. However, the solution to the issue of theft is simple: using better tracking devices with their mass fleets of bicycles. Simple U-Lock bike locks keep bicycles in one place, and some do have GPS technology embedded, but they do not go as far as to alert the user/owner when their bike has been stolen or is attempted to be stolen.
Bike sharing service providers would benefit massively from an investment in such a piece of technology as it would make them able to constantly track their fleets. Not only does this prevent theft, it also makes the life of the maintenance staff significantly easier; with the knowledge of the location of bicycles and ride insights, it will be easier to specifically know which bicycles require maintenance, as those being used for general and relaxed cycling would require less maintenance on their tires in comparison to those being used for significantly faster rides with a higher risk of harsher breaking.
Governing bodies could also encourage the use of these trackers as the smart city initiative continues to expand. The use of the sensors provides insights on the environment surrounding the rider—the sensors monitor a variety of things, such as congestion, route conditions, and the standard of the roads. The government and transportation boards can use this data to help encourage the advances of cycling infrastructures that are to become activated plans at future dates, such as repairing roads or installing new cycling lanes. The government can also use the information gathered from such tracking devices to do maintenance work that is required to be done around cities at a more efficient rate—work can take place only where is necessary, but also at a better suited time. The data will be able to help foresee significantly quieter times to let work begin and therefore cause less disruption for the city and its citizens.