With government encouragement, London is seeing more cyclists taking to the road, which is great for the environment and public health. Unfortunately, London’s roads were built for oxcarts, not bicycles, and certainly not cyclists and lorries at the same time. Sat nav company Navevo, in association with Transport for London (TLC), is trying to make this combination a bit safer with Navevo’s ProNav HGV Cyclist Alert software, which provides visual and audible warnings of junctions and stretches of road with heavy cycle traffic.
Cyclists are small, move relatively quickly and are hard to see. Meanwhile, lorry drivers are set high up and are often in cabs with limited visibility. Worse, the way in which cyclists ride can see them end up with them in blind spots at unpredictable times. Claimed by Navevo as a “world first,” the ProNav HGV Cyclist Alert software uses traffic flow data for the London road network from TLC and the Department of Transport to map out areas where cyclists and lorries are most likely to encounter one another in the London area.
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When a HGV driver approaches one of these high-cyclist traffic areas, an audible and visual alert appears in the form of a warning symbol as well as a 50-meter (164-ft) “warning zone” circle around the area on the map. According to Navevo, 100 high convergence areas are displayed at present. This coverage intentionally includes only the busiest junctions because a constant string of alerts for every cycle lane would be counterproductive.
“A navigation system is something a driver is likely to be listening to as they approach a junction and so it makes perfect sense to also alert the driver of the risk of cyclists, reminding them to be observant and drive safely,” said Navevo CEO, Nick Caesari. “The safety of drivers, cyclists and other users of the road is a concern for everybody and we are proud to lead the navigation industry by launching this “world first” safety feature, which we believe could significantly contribute in improving road safety and reducing the number of incidents involving HGVs and cyclists.”
The software is standard on new ProNav PNN420 sat nav devices and will soon be provided on all ProNav systems. Navevo says that it plans to increase coverage and provide free updates.