BITS survey: what do the different types of cyclists think of ITS technologies in cycling?

08 December 2020 - Published by CIE Communications

In Spring, the BITS survey was launched on a large scale. Over 7000 inhabitants of the participating BITS cities and regions completed our survey on cycling and intelligent transport systems (ITS). The survey results provide insight into people’s cycling behavior, their perceived motivations, the barriers to cycling, as well as their interest in ITS technologies in cycling.

In our previous article we distinguished four types of cyclists: the happy cyclists, the diehards, the procrastinators and the car fanatics. In this article, we’ll give you an insight in their interest in ITS technologies in cycling.

Our results show that diehards are most often using one or more app for cycling, followed by the happy cyclists and the procrastinators. The car fanatics are least often using apps for cycling at the moment. The most popular apps are apps giving information on cycling conditions (e.g. weather apps) and cycling routes. Within the group of the car fanatics, 60% has never used an app for cycling before.

We asked the respondents whether they would be encouraged to cycle more when using certain ITS technologies. In general, the procrastinators were most positive and indicated most often that they would cycle more. Car fanatics are least encouraged by ITS technologies to cycle. Some ITS technologies are more popular, such as sensors at traffic lights giving faster green at cyclists, an app for theft prevention and an app showing the most scenic route. Respondents were less interested in an app helping them to find a cycle buddy.

The results also showed different interests of the different types of cyclists. Car fanatics could least be motivated to cycle (more) using the ITS technologies compared to the other types of cyclists. Diehards showed the largest interest in ITS improving efficiency, i.e. the sensor at traffic lights that detects the approach of the cyclists and turns the light faster to green. Of this group, 80% indicated that they would cycle more with this technology. More than 50% of the happy cyclists and the procrastinators would be encouraged to cycle more with LED lights indicating a risk of slipping and skidding on bicycle paths.

The respondents indicated that worries about their privacy and distraction while cycling are the main reasons not to use apps for cycling. Some also think that using apps for cycling is time consuming. However, 70% of all respondents agreed that apps can give a lot of useful information. It seems that using apps and other ITS technologies in cycling still has a potential to grow in the future!