Dublin’s Liberty Bell heading to the Rockies
Smart bluetooth bicycle bell winner of international US technology challenge
May 31st 2017, Dublin, Ireland: Liberty Bell, a smart bluetooth bicycle bell and auditing system, designed and developed by Fluidedge, a Dublin-based firm, has been chosen as a winner in an international technological challenge run by the Colorado Department of Transport (CDOT).
The CDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Challenge, asked entrepreneurs from around the world to develop inventive technological solutions to increase safety for cyclists and pedestrians in Colorado. These two groups account for 12 percent of the road accident fatalities across the state of Colorado each year. “Colorado collaborates with innovators and advisors to ensure technology informs our transportation system,” says Shailen Bhatt, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Transportation. Liberty Bell trials will be run in 2017 working with the City of Boulder municipality. As a result of the win, Liberty Bell audits of the cycling environment will take place in 2017 in conjunction with the City of Boulder municipality.
Liberty Bell, which allows city authorities gather insights into the experience of cycling in their city, was designed in direct response to the Smart Dublin Cycling Challenge - an Enterprise Ireland funded Small Business Innovation Research programme - where Dublin City Council invited the private sector to submit low cost technological solutions to help promote cycling in Dublin City.
“One of the greatest barriers to cycling in Dublin is the perception of feeling unsafe as well as being unsafe”, says Conor Cahill of Fluidedge.
“ We realised that it was important to understand the issues encountered by cyclists, while they were cycling. Given that it is difficult to interview someone on a bike, we needed a simple way to record and log issues that cyclists encountered. Liberty Bell is essentially a field research tool to gather qualitative data about the cycling experience.”
Initial proof of concept trials of Liberty Bell were carried out in Dublin in 2016 with the help of the Dublin Cycling Campaign and An Taisce Green Schools. Larger trials of Liberty Bell will be run in Dublin City over the course of Summer 2017. Volunteers are invited to participate in surveying their city by attaching a Liberty Bell to their bicycle.
‘We’re delighted to be running larger scale trials in Dublin this Summer and we’re hoping for as diverse a group of cyclists as possible - novice cyclists, experienced cyclists, across all age groups and all types of bikes' says Síle Ginnane of Fluidedge.
“Cities really need a useful, cost-effective auditing system in order to understand and therefore improve the cycling landscape of a city”, says Síle Ginnane. “That Boulder, Colorado, which is one of five Platinum standard Bicycling Friendly Communities in the USA, has embraced Liberty Bell and sees its value in improving their city for cyclists, is further validation."
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