Allride: an innovative platform to make cycling safer for children
The city of Bruges participated in the Interreg V 2 Seas ‘Smart Cities Innovation Framework’ project (SCIFI). An EU funded project that helped us, cities, to learn about innovative procurement and data conditions for smart implementations.
From this project the innovative platform ‘Allride’ was created: a platform that allows youngsters to map their route to school by means of a smart bicycle lamp and/or an app.
Together with BAM Belgium and AE nv, the cities of Mechelen and Bruges were aiming to make cycling to school safer and more attractive and to gain more insight into route utilisation.
AllRide is a project that aims to make cycling to and from school more attractive for children. In these EU pilots children from a primary school in each of the cities are cycling to school on a bike with a smart lamp and an app, AllRide. The app and smart lamp not only encourage them to cycle more, but also to use safer cycling routes.
The bicycle routes travelled are mapped live via the smart lamp or app. This data is collected via a platform where children can provide feedback, gain insight into safe routes and view the routes they have travelled and the points they have collected. This type of technology can make a difference and contribute to a change in mentality regarding safe cycling. In addition, the cities can use the results to analyze and improve their cycle road network.
To make it attractive for young people, the lights are linked to an online game platform. There they receive points when they cycle, when they do it safely and also when they give feedback about the safety of the route used. The points allow the children to gain access to additional levels in the game and thus win more rewards, at individual and class level. And thanks to their feedback, safer alternative routes can be proposed.
Allride not only remembers the routes children take to get to school, but also asks their opinion. Do they feel safe on the road or do they find the route rather dangerous? The app can propose alternative, safer routes if needed. But getting children to provide systematic feedback is, of course, no easy feat. That’s why BAM Belgium and AE made smart use of gamification. Users who cycle to school via a safe route and give feedback about that route afterwards collect points that give them a chance at winning a fun sports accessory.
Interest for the city
It’s not only school children who benefit from the advantages Allride brings to the table (such as safer and smoother traffic that has a smaller ecological footprint). Naturally, their parents are also interested in seeing how their children can cycle to school in the safest way possible. In addition, cities and municipalities can use the data collected in the platform to detect critical points in their mobility network and adjust their infrastructure accordingly.