Navevo GPS warns lorry drivers of cyclists
ProNav PNN420 with the ProNav HGV Cyclist Alert software
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.
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.
Source: Navevo via GPS Daily
About the Author
David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.
All articles by David Szondy
Since trucks all have GPS now, and hence, a video screen is available, I don't understand why trucks aren't equiped with cameras to get rid of those blind spots once and for all.
Bicyclists, motorcyclists or handcyclists?
It is about time that the governments around the world took charge of the mapping for sat-navs. If the maps were free and to a standard which was updated in real-time, then hold-ups, such as traffic accidents, could be avoided automatically, leaving less of a snarl-up at the scene of whatever has caused the problem. All planned roadworks, parades, road closures etc. could be automatically programmed into the device so that they are avoided if the journey coincides with whatever is taking place. The list goes on.
All it takes is a little bit of thought and for the sat-nav manufacturers to forsake the profit they get for selling the maps themselves, which is a bit naughty anyway in my view.
The system does not detect a cyclist it just alerts that you are approaching an area known to have cyclists. So the alert will go off at 3am in a rainstorm.....
What a total waste of time, effort and money - assuming anyone actually implements this daft idea. No doubt it will be something that the sat-nav user can turn off and that's exactly what they will do rather than have the sat-nav irritatingly stating the obvious every time a big junction or major road appears.
Now if the sat-nav had a near-distance receiver of some sort built in to it that a cyclist could tune into so that whenever the cyclist was near to the sat-nav, say closer than 20 feet - and going in the same direction (to avoid false hits at junctions etc) - a dinger (or whatever) went off on the sat-nav to warn the lorry driver of the immediate proximity of an actual cyclist, then that might be worth implementing.
Come to that, sat-navs quite often have a bluetooth transceiver built-in and most cyclists have a mobile phone - surely theres an app for that? If there isn't then this is where some money and talent should be being spent. Horse riders could use it too - and walkers. Come on someone - there's a fortune to be made here!
As a former bike racer I experienced many times when drivers simply forgot that I was on the road beside them. Many accidents happen because as soon a a cyclist goes behind the driver, the driver thinks the bicyclists are no longer near. Recently there a Boston University student cyclist was killed when a truck turned right into a side street from the left lane when a cyclist was beside the truck in the right lane. When this happens, the cyclist simply cannot avoid the crash. Another frequent cause of death from trucks is when the truck turns right at a stop light. While pedestrians are on the curb and can move back as the rear of the truck cuts the corner, a cyclist is already in the road and when stopped cannot move out of the trucks path. A short range signal such as blue tooth to alert the truck driver that a cyclist is somewhere close to the truck is the only thing that could prevent these things if the driver is not aware enough to know the the cyclist didn't simply disappear because he can no longer see them.
Dominic From NASA
I can't tell you how many times I have seen bikes and cars pull up along the right side of a truck signaling for a right turn with just enough room to not run over the sidewalk. Those of us that go crunch when going under the wheels need to watch out for our own safety.
Agreed, whenever possible I used trucks to shield me from other traffic. However, what are you to do, if one is stopped a light as required by law (I never did or do) and a truck then comes to the light and makes a right turn on red when the bicyclist was already there?
Dominic From NASA
In my expieriance Truck at fault is so rare as no to worry about it. However if you wobble a bright flashlight (not a laser) over his mirrors he will have a hard time not noticing you.
Your running stops is far more likely to hurt or kill you than the truck drivers 'mistake'.
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