10th July 2023
The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast
EPISODE 333: Playing God: Bike Infrastructure Folks at Move Conference
SPONSOR: Tern Bicycles
HOST: Carlton Reid
GUESTS: Philip McAleese, Jon Little, Kris Vanherle, José Manuel Gutiérrez
TOPICS: Bike infrastructure folks recorded at the Move mobility conference in London in June.
- Philip McAleese of Northern Ireland, cofounder of SeeSense the bike lights and data company.
- Jon Little, cofounder of drag-and-drop cityscape imaginator Betastreets.
- Kris Vanherle of citizen traffic counting system Telraam.
- José Gutiérrez of Lane Control of Barcelona, a tool that assesses the safety and attractiveness of cycling infrastructure.
Carlton Reid 0:13
Welcome to Episode 333 of the Spokesmen cycling podcast. This show is engineered on Monday 10th of July 2023.
David Bernstein 0:28
The Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast is brought to you by Tern bicycles. The good people at Tern are committed to building bikes that are useful enough to ride every day and dependable enough to carry the people you love. In other words, they make the kind of bikes that they want to ride. Tern has e bikes for every type of rider; whether you’re commuting, taking your kids to school or even carrying another adult, visit www.ternbicycles.com. That’s t e r n bicycles.com t learn more.
Carlton Reid 1:04
I’m Carlton Reid. And today’s show is a bunch of interviews with bike infrastructure folks who I met at the move mobility conference in London last month. You’ll hear from Philip McAleese of Northern Ireland, cofounder of SeeSense the bike lights and data company. I talk digital trees and more with London’s Jon Little, cofounder of drag and drop cityscape imaginator Betastreets, I also got to meet Telraam’s Kris Van Herle— Telraam is a citizen traffic counting system based out of Belgium and which featured on this podcast a few episodes back. And last but not least there’s José Manuel Gutiérrez of Barcelona who was in London to talk about Lane Control, a tool from the Keita Mobility Factory that assesses the safety and attractiveness of cycling infrastructure.
Have you been here before you interviewed before we came
Philip McAleese 2:10
here last year as well. And so
Carlton Reid 2:11
So you’ve returned? That’s good. Yeah. But Well, shouldn’t you be on a bigger booth now? Because you are you’re not you’re not a startup? It’s a Startup Village. How can we all are you do you want to be in with like the innovators is that
Philip McAleese 2:24
I think we still consider ourselves a startup because there’s still a lot of things that we’re doing, which are very explorative. And you and so you know, we are we are looking to scale. We have a lot of really cool technology. And one of the things that we enjoy doing, but there’s a lot of it is a voyage of discovery. So it’s understanding how people can use our data and insights to really get better understandings make better data, live decisions, to really look at, you know, with the climate of urgency, how do we get more people on sustainable transportation? How do we encourage people and hyper localise nudge behaviour, so it is personal to the individual, so that it means something to them, or will encourage them to keep doing it? Because as I’m sure you know, it takes a few goes that getting people to do something before it can stick in form habits. So how do we break things? First?
Carlton Reid 3:11
Are you data data? I mean data? Are you a data company here? Are you a light company? What What What’s your elec, give me your elevator pitch as though I know nothing about your company fillers.
Philip McAleese 3:23
So we are really a sensor of data company. We specialise in giving insights into micro mobility, helping to understand not only where people are going and how they’re using it, but actually what their experiences where it’s working well. Particular where, what their interaction is like with other road users with the infrastructure, understanding where that’s all working? Well, I’m understanding where it can be improved.
Carlton Reid 3:47
So obviously, you you bicycle lights is where you came from. I’m looking at poster here. And of course, it’s Micromobility. Yes, so you’ve got a bicycle there, but you’ve also got a scooter. So your product, yes. is now going on scooters. Is that in scooters? Or is that still a light that you put attached to the scooter? So what’s what’s the tech?
Philip McAleese 4:06
Yeah, no. So we’ve got two product offerings. One is the consumer lighting. And then obviously, Paris with a mobile phone app to allow people to optionally collect data. The other one is a fleet telematics solution, which uses the same patented sensor technology, but integrated with auto lighting products, so that we can track fleet vehicles. So we’re tracking, obviously, e bikes, regular bikes as well, and E scooters as well. So we’re getting all of the different viewpoints from those different users. One of the projects we’re really brought off at the moment is as its pedal bar, where we’ve got an area of pretty significant deprivation, where we’re helping people to access better opportunities to use bicycles, which are being given to them to access, utility cycling, to get to the shops and so on to access train stations and employments and that’s still in the relatively early phases, but it’s scaling up it’s a really it’s During project, we’re starting to see some infrastructure changes go in for additional bicycle parking drop curbs to allow them to, to access the places they
Carlton Reid 5:08
want to go. And that’s because data showed them.
Philip McAleese 5:11
Yes, exactly that. So we were able to see that, you know, Tuesday evening down the pier was the social place to be, but the some of the local shops that were being used, and people were using them and going places that weren’t expected. So being able to uncover that and understand the sorts of journeys that the bicycles are being used for, has really helped in that design of knowing where to put the infrastructure to improve and continue that good, like behaviour.
Carlton Reid 5:36
So what cities you’re working with.
Philip McAleese 5:38
So we’ve got projects going on at the moment in a number of cities, obviously, our six is the big one. Another one that we’re really proud of is Victoria in sorry, Melbourne and Victoria in Australia. And there we’ve just finished the first phase of a 1000. bicycle lights trial. The that’s what the transport Accident Commission here a government organisation tasked with well, accident condition, transport Accident Commission, that car
Carlton Reid 6:04
accident, yes, in the title. That’s awful. Anyway,
Philip McAleese 6:08
it’s historic. Yeah, okay. But they
Carlton Reid 6:12
Crash not accident. So they should change their name,
Philip McAleese 6:14
yes, but the attack. So they are actually they’ve just paid for an extension to the project. So allow us to engage with the local government authorities, I was selected three or four within that region, to see How could our data help to help them to better understand some of the infrastructure changes they’ve made around how effective they’ve been to look at future infrastructure change? And indeed, is what they’re planning aligned with what the data is actually showing.
Carlton Reid 6:41
Cool? And who are you hoping to talk to hear how you like our meetings planned? Are you just completely random that whoever comes on? What have you set up?
Philip McAleese 6:51
This a little bit of everything. So we’re obviously very, very much interested in here to learn. So there are a number of incredibly fascinating talks and presentations, and so on that we want to go and see. There are a lot of contacts of projects, I think we’ve been quite conscious of our carbon footprint, where, you know, we like having some meetings with people. We haven’t travelled backwards and forwards in Belfast to the UK as much as we would have done historically. And so it’s actually wonderful to come here and meet a lot of our customers and clients and people that we know, and see them face to face, but in a very effective and carbon, low carbon way. So partly for presentations, partly to meet people, and of course, for networking to see are there other opportunities for us to sell our technology and to help people have better insights.
Carlton Reid 7:34
Philip McAleese has been on the show before, and so has the next person that I interviewed at move, and that is Jon Little. And Jon is kind of a tree fan, you’ll kind of find out why in a second. But he was extolling the virtues of trees on this show, way back in 2018. So that was episode 195, in which I entitled “cycle advocates should ask for trees, not just cycleways.” So here’s the up to date, Jon, at the Move conference. And of course, we did start by talking about trees.
Isn’t this as though
Jon Little 8:11
there are lots of trees in it? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the plants and stuff are actually my favourite part of it. To be perfectly honest, we’re but
Carlton Reid 8:17
so first of all, tell us who you are for the tape yet. Jon, who are you, Jon? So
Jon Little 8:21
my name is Jon Little. I’m a transport consultant. I work in street design, generally, but particularly kind of interested in getting people involved in the code design process, realise how important that is. And basically how a picture is worth 1000 words. It’s never truer than kind of what we’re up to at the moment in trying to show people that change is possible and actually that the world won’t stop spinning.
Carlton Reid 8:43
So this is betta. So drinking seats. Yeah. So it’s kind of like a riff on better and better and betta.
Jon Little 8:49
Absolutely. Yeah. So it’s a street design visualisation tool we built from the ground up during lockdown. Primarily because I do my day job has been asked by so many local authorities. Can we do this down here? What would that look like if I kept thinking self if only we had a tool where we could just take a photo and drag and drop stuff in and create this vision of mainly a meme got me more useful. So of course, how it could look in the end with a full blown visualisation, which I think is fair to say lots of people unfortunately, when they saw trees in pots couldn’t necessarily see what the end result might look like in a few years time and can’t buy into the halfway house as such. So we built a tool that enables you to create visualisations in a matter of minutes that look the same as a visualisation that would have been made by UK transport consultancy costing 1000s of pounds and taking lots and lots of hours of engineers and people involved in that process.
Carlton Reid 9:37
And it’s using Google Streetview
Jon Little 9:39
now so we we tried to tell people not to street although you can do that’s up to you. We prefer that people don’t use Google imagery at the moment we recommend that you don’t just purely because Google don’t like people drawing on their images but effectively it’s any any photo you take the mobile or or an SLR you import into our browser. And then you set the scale set the horizon And, and that’s about it. And then everything that you drag and drop from the library of things, which is all real things provided by real providers. So kerbs from char con or Felco cycle hangers or whatever that might be. You then drag and drop to stuff of your choice into your image and recreate the vision of how that street or place could look. It’s got every single TSR DD sign and the pro version line markings and everything else, all the standard stuff you need to do highway maintenance, not just beautiful streets, but you can use visualisation or use our tool to help people understand how it look, if you just resurface the road. Of course, you’d never normally do that with visualisation tool because it costs 1000s of pounds. And there just isn’t that money or that inclination to necessarily do that normally. We like to think that we’ve invented something or made something that can change the way that visualisation is used in our industry. And actually the way our industry works with people, be it in in the office or out the office, and particularly around the courts having those conversations about how places might look if change happens, and hopefully it will be a good thing.
Carlton Reid 10:59
And when as you there was like a rolling demo that was going on where you weren’t having to press thing. Yeah, there was the Photoshop. Like regenitive thing. Basically, it took a car out of the picture. Yeah, it was quite cute. So you’re basically not just adding stuff. You’re taking stuff
away. Yeah, you can play god.
Jon Little 11:17
Absolutely. So we’ve we’ve we’ve got an image object removal tool within our within our platform, it enables you to remove pretty much anything from the image. I mean, it’s machine learning, it’s not perfect. It’s akin to like similar to some of the smartphones have gotten now. But yeah, the idea being that if there’s a car in a place where you don’t want it and you want to and that would otherwise mean that you couldn’t do the visual without going to Photoshop or something else. So you can remove it. But as you can see, it can easily as easily remove a line marker off the street.
Carlton Reid 11:43
Yep. Yep. And how much is this going to cost? authority so
Jon Little 11:48
it’s 900 pounds a year. For licence that licence can be floating between the team only one person can use at any one time. So obviously, we like to think that that teams will need more than one licence to be perfectly honest with you because actually, as you can see, you can use visualisation for just seeing what it looked like if you dropped a tree in an empty tree pit and not necessarily doing a full blown visualisation, as we’re kind of accustomed to with big developments and big road projects.
Carlton Reid 12:13
So the demo we’re getting now is of a tree being put in is that what particular kind of tree
Jon Little 12:17
though now you’re testing my knowledge I sorry, man. I’m not education as well. I know that’s a shocker, isn’t it? But um, but this
Carlton Reid 12:25
is your favourite thing you like basically the last time you were on the show many many years ago you were basically saying that the biggest thing that we could improve cities get more people walking, cycling and not driving bizarrely, is those green things with brown bits underneath.
Jon Little 12:43
Yeah, absolutely. And actually in the background of that image is his street art and the like. I mean, people like we know from you know, Lucy Saunders healthy street stuff from from lots of evidence based stuff that we use in our industry, we know that people feel safer, they more likely to walk and cycle and be outside if they feel like it’s a place that they belong for one of a better phrase, and of course, beautify and streets and add implant and and stuff as Andy stone at the moment. Couldn’t be part of that process. Again, we we like to think because we’ve designed so we talk we pay lip service, I think in some times in our industry to we’re going to design this street for eight to 18 year olds, and it’s going to be for everybody and all that stuff. And of course that’s right, but we don’t actually involve all those people in the process, particularly children whereas I mean, my daughter talks about this as being my game so that you can upload your game please. He loves placing trees in the Olympic Park and adding stuff where it should be on our on our route school. We like to think there again on a community centre on a Wednesday night when actually people might be getting frustrated so can’t get as involved in the design process they’d like to this tool brings all those barriers down you don’t need a massive load of experienced software to use this you don’t need a civil engineering degree we think with roughly about half an hour an hour playing around here as a competent
Carlton Reid 13:49
you’re you’re playing God your You’re certainly playing Monty Don there because what he’s been basically planting the street with grasses first as possible soils and obviously, and then you put daisies in and all that. And it’s like already looks really cute. You’ve taken a what’s a pretty boring industrial stroke scene and you’ve instantly made it nice. And that took what about 25 seconds? Probably from start to finish. Yeah. And then can you like do instant LTNs. So you’ve got like planter boxes of you?
Jon Little 14:23
Absolutely. These are all like, plugged in. Yeah.
So you can pick a plant from the library things you can then actually decide what plants go in it so you can put the plant down and then and then plant it yourself. I mean, we’ve got we’ve got curbs we’ve got kind of all your standard highway materials in there, but also cause lots of stuff to make streets look nicer.
Carlton Reid 14:41
So now you’re saying this is for local authorities and one person to do it. But would this not be something maybe you’ve absolutely envisage this and I’m not saying anything that you haven’t already thought of is getting people in and playing on you as a founder of your street. Yep. And people will naturally even though if you went in and say do you want, what do you want? They wouldn’t tell you what they want all the cars riddle, but if they actually physically played with it, so I’d actually quite like some flowers. Yeah, absolutely. And then all of a sudden you say what? You drawn them a Yep. So that’s what is this?
Jon Little 15:15
Absolutely. So we hope that rather than people having a kind of philosophical, do you want this thing? Yes or No, actually, you can have a design competition where everyone’s doing their own versions of the plant and at the end of their street and saying, Oh, I like his idea. I like that tree. I like that bit. And maybe collaboratively, truly collaboratively come up with a solution for whatever it might be. You can also actually, there’s no reason why you can’t put a half created street designing so say for argument’s sake, an engineer does put in the two metre wide footway, the new cycletrack and then get people to colour in the rest of the drawing. So they pick the plant and they pick the optional extras, they decide where the parklets go and all the rest of it to again, hopefully open up that design process. So it truly is CO design.
Carlton Reid 15:53
So you’re making it more beautiful there now with planting and nice things, but just as easily if you’re a motor centric traffic engineer, you could put loads of Yes, city stuff. Absolutely. I mean, this can be used for bad yet as well as
Jon Little 16:08
absolutely, you know, dare I say you can think about putting a road through a park if you say wish as easily as you can, you know, turn in a street into a park,
Carlton Reid 16:15
which reminds me because there’s a an A to Zed of Liverpool, where they’re going to put a road through a park. And it’s not it doesn’t come forward. You don’t think about it too much. Until he said put it on anything. Jesus, they really are putting a road through a park. Yeah. And it’s when you visualise it on a map when it brings it home. Yeah. So these kinds of things can bring these things home.
Jon Little 16:40
And we’ve had, you know, we’ve had lots of interest from temporary, sort of music festivals and things and think about can we show people how it will temporarily look, if we put an entrance into this farmer’s field to do the carpark? Well, of course you can. Similarly, you know, parks, we’ve had somebody from the United Nations talk about whether they could use it to plan temporary road to conflict zones, or I mean, fundamentally, you can use anything you can take a photo of, you can upload to our platform and then play away.
Carlton Reid 17:04
So you’re saying it international there. But this isn’t British? Because it’s got all the British roads? Yeah. So have you got an international version?
Jon Little 17:12
on the roadmap? Yes, certainly, we’ve had quite a bit of interests from Ireland, we’ve got a bit of a fan club in Prague, we’ve added some life purpose, paving patents and semicircle. Paving patents are quite widespread in Prague purely because we’ve got quite a few users there of the demo, certainly, we hope that they’re going to start using the pro version. But the idea is absolutely that our next step is more traffic management stuff, more more standard street design stuff into the library, but then also thinking about a, you know, Dutch library of French library and the road signs and the light just as much as you know, Dutch entry curves and the like. But the idea being that there are different versions for different countries to
Carlton Reid 17:46
Yeah. And so what stage you out with with physically selling there
Jon Little 17:49
So we’re basically getting ready for Rio. So
we’ve so we’ve just relaunched our website, is literally at the moment of us switching over to have a fully constrained compatible purchasable website where you can affect the download, like by your own subscription version straight from there, there will always be a free demo, we believe in that. We believe we’ve created something for the power of goods, you said earlier about putting road to carpet and free parks. Of course you can, but we like to think that most people are going to use it for the right thing. And we actually want everyone to always have a version available for nothing too bad to do a bit with it. But then of course, if they want to go big, they need to subscribe and get the wider product like
Carlton Reid 18:24
an electric shock. You know, if you put a road in? Yeah. Oh, yeah. Okay. So 900 pounds for local authority. Yeah. Or you can envisage a member of the public doing this is there like a subscription model.
Jon Little 18:38
So there’s a free version for anybody. And that’s got a very limited library of things, it has to be said compared to the full blown pro version. Local authorities can purchase the version and open it up to residents to have a play around as part of the design process. But primarily, the the end user subscription version is aimed at people who work in the industry be that in consultancies or local authorities or, or even suppliers of stuff. So we’re actually working with a few of our providers to build them versions, they can use a sale tool, because of course, they can stand there with a prospective local authority client and show them how it look if you put a row of their curb defendants down the road or wherever it might be.
Carlton Reid 19:13
Jon, people who are going to be interested in this where can they find out more information?
Jon Little 19:17
so go on to a website betastreets.co.uk. You can find that the demo there, you can sign up for the free version. You’ll find details about those subscriptions to the Pro versions. We’re on Twitter at BT streets limited BTA streets limited. And yeah, and that’s that’s kind of our profile at the moment. We’re on Instagram, too. But we’re not as prolific on that. As we said at the moment. There’s too many things for
Carlton Reid 19:39
but you’re very visual.
Jon Little 19:41
Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, so we’ve got, we’ve got for users, we’re building an academy in the background, that’s going to be a place where people can share tips and videos of how to Andy’s gonna have lots of videos him using it showing how to create you know how to pop up the shadows and kind of really finish off your images, but we like to think that’s gonna end up being a peer to peer space where people are going to love from each other and share best practice to, we encourage everyone to when they create beautiful images to share them as best they can with everyone else. That’s gonna go wild on social media. Yeah, we like to think so I mean, the London Cycling campaign at an earlier version of it last year in the lead up to the elections, and that went really well. I mean, they use it’s quite the climate Safe Streets campaign. Of course, the visuals that they created, were really powerful in showing prospective politicians. You know, if you like this, I’ll vote for you. If if you vote for this type thing, which I think you know, by all accounts worked really well. Yeah, we know. I mean, obviously, I said earlier, it’s the power of, you know, an image being worth 1000 words. And yeah, I mean, we hope as I say that people grab it and do beautiful things with it.
Carlton Reid 20:42
Before the next two guests, here’s a quick commercial interlude with my colleague, David.
David Bernstein 20:48
Hello, everyone. This is David from the Fredcast. And of course, the spokesmen. And I’m here once again to tell you that this podcast is brought to you by Tern bicycles, the good people at Tern build bikes that make it easier for you to replace car trips with bike trips. Part of that is being committed to designing useful bikes that are also fun to ride. But an even greater priority for turn, is to make sure that your ride is safe, and worryfree. And that’s why turn works with industry leading third party testing labs like E FB, E, and builds it bikes around Bosch ebike systems which are UL certified for both electric and fire safety. So before you even zip off on your Tern, fully loaded, and perhaps with a loved one behind, you can be sure that the bike has been tested to handle the extra stresses on the frame, and the rigours of the road. For more information visit www.ternbicycles.com to learn more. And now back to the spokesmen.
Carlton Reid 21:58
Thanks, David. And we are back with bike infrastructure folks I met at move at Excel in London. I got to the show from Newcastle on LNER on the East Coast Main Line and then rode to Docklands on a folding bike. Kris Vanherle of Telraam also came on the train. How did you get here because this is a mobility conference, you’ve got to use micro mobility you’ve got to use the bicycle. You say anything else and you’re you’re drummed out, move on.
Kris Vanherle 22:32
I’ll explain the whole story. So I live very close at the train station in Leurven. So that’s like five minute walk even less. So I take a train to Brussels Midi station, you’ll start to Kings Cross and I walked across to I don’t know the connecting rail. One stop at Farrington and then Elizabeth line until here and that’s it.
Carlton Reid 22:55
Kings Cross today? That was pretty good. So we’re both travelled long distances. today. Yeah. So we have talked before Yes. Even on the on the podcast. But why are you here? Why is telraam here? And how do you find out about move?
Kris Vanherle 23:11
All right, well, first of all found out but move. And we’ve been stalled a bit by by industry or people or people who knew about trafficking, you should be here, so close about new stuff on mobility. And yeah, obviously we are new. So I think we should have our place here where technology meets the centres for policy or anything which is going to get to traffic so
Carlton Reid 23:36
I can’t explain where we are because we are in the startup it’s the lots of expensive booths out there. I’m not saying that you know inexpensive booths, I’m sure they they charge you and I’m gonna lay however, we are smaller you are like you know, your elevator pitch is basically smaller than an elevator, you’ve got like a small but this is an I was fine that here is the most interesting companies anyway, not nothing against the big companies, but their corporates have been going for a long time. It’s the smaller guys who are the ones you know, innovating, which I like to come and talk about, come and talk to so you think you’re gonna get who here who are you gonna be talking to?
Kris Vanherle 24:13
There’s a few people we know that will stop by so from Oxfordshire, I think for sure. And we known as a couple more languages is joining as well. So it’s good to finally meet them in person. So that’s, that’s interesting. And I don’t know, who knows. I mean, we don’t just don’t only want to work for local authorities, but also any mobility professional who might work with the data or want to be sent to deployment doing counts. So there’s there’s I guess there’s plenty of talks to be had today.
Carlton Reid 24:44
So I’m still waiting to do my Forbes piece. Yeah, I used it very successfully to measure the pedestrians and cyclists and motorists on my my road and I thought it was absolutely brilliant for that and it went viral at times. To You know, people are really fascinated in this. So hopefully people will will now recognise you a bit more when they come to you. But what do you actually physically doing here? So what, what how you enticing them cuz I can see you’ve got something and you are gonna be Have you seen this yet I’ve never used to describe what this is
Kris Vanherle 25:20
okay, so this is a this is a demonstrate how Telraam works in the field. So we’ve got a backboard of a typical cityscape, let’s say, which is then standing up like this, there’s a street in front, like this. And we’ll simulate a window here. Now there’s two devices connected. So one is the dahlia which I’ll connect later on has to be that one. And then there’s a video, which is basically showing you what Telly I’m seeing. So you can see how cars passed by and you can see telecom counter picking up and you can see how telecom is counting done. So with the bounding boxes, so it’s just a technology demonstrator and see how it works in the field, basically. And we work obviously, with all kinds of fun stuff like this. Trucks. Bikes, we have to sort this out, because this is the beautiful, but we’ll we’ll sorted and also a fire truck. So we’ll just be driving by it to to show how thallium device how it works. That’s it,
Carlton Reid 26:29
I guess, when people just kind of know that counting is really, really important. And counting of pedestrians and cyclists is tends to be way down the list
in the priority list, it’s easier to just, you know,
monitor cars with your pneumatic tubes and stuff. So the tech that you’ve got here isn’t pneumatic tubes, and it’s using AI. And it’s counting people. And that’s important for cities and certainly important. And I got a huge shock. On my road. I was new, there’s lots of people using it, active travel, but to actually see it in numbers and to see how much more than motorists was like, incredible. Exactly. And very valuable data. Yep. So you are producing basically very valuable data.
Kris Vanherle 27:14
Yeah, yeah, that’s it. I mean, the I think the capitalism tries to fill us two things. So the non car modes because there’s technology to monitor and uncovers, but it’s either very expensive or very limited. And then on the on the smaller roads, which are often neglected. So there’s there’s plenty of counting on Main artists, which is needed, because you need to mark congestion zone, but it’s always the small residential roads, whichever got running, for example, which never get counted. So you need to have something cheap and which is affordable, no cheap, affordable to do allow for a more dense, ethical thing. Network. That’s what we’re aiming for.
Carlton Reid 27:53
And finally, here’s Jose Gutierrez of Barcelona, talking about Lane Patrol.
Jose Gutierrez 27:59
So I’m Jose Gutierrez, I’m representing Lane Patrol. We are actually in some sort of incubator internal incubator where a mobility company called fracture consulting based in Barcelona, and we’ve been working with this project, we brought up this a software solution, that it’s called Lane patrol that consists of two things, one it like hardware on the other side is software, what we do is to analyse the infrastructure safety of cycle routes, for all we get, we are actually leveraging being trusted suppliers of a IRAP, which is the international road assessment programme. I’m their methodology called Cycra.
Carlton Reid 28:36
And you’re doing this for cameras. What’s What’s this,
Jose Gutierrez 28:38
so what we do is that we have a device or we also have a mobile app where we collect frames of video or images that we then use to evaluate over 40 attributes. To assess the safety of the cycle routes, where these attributes, we get actually the rating based on the methodology of the safety of these damn intersections. And we get the conflicts in the cycle route conflicts of vehicles with other conflicts of bicycles, with the bicycles, bicycles, with objects, bicycles, with pedestrians and bicycles with vehicles
Carlton Reid 29:11
and technology technology that you use or is this anybody can use it and they feed the information to you,
Jose Gutierrez 29:18
or at least actually, anyone can use it, but we need to supervise it because for the methodology, we need to have this we’re a trusted supplier. So actually, we need to understand the methodology we need to do quality review of the work. So it is the solution is either for other consultants or for cities who wants to analyse it and create probably an investment and or a maintenance plan of the cycle routes. So this is this is starting off with let’s say the end user we could what we do is that we collaborate with consultants in other countries, or we go directly to municipalities or decision makers in regions, but actually they want to say okay, you know what, we have a 200 kilometre network we want to analyse, where should we invest first either where we have more bicyclists and these bicyclists are in the red zones of safety. Or you can just want to make sure that all your network gets to a certain level of safety. So this is this is what we did. We are working. We have now a project we’re part of a European funded project called Mollier. We are analysing cycleway that is connecting Barcelona to neighbouring towns. We’re in our bigger project together with people from my rap from cycle rap in which we are in analysing and typology of cycle routes in Madrid and Barcelona. But there’s also their partners working in Bogota, Sao Paulo and Fayetteville in the US. So there’s a big project that we’re currently ongoing.
Carlton Reid 30:38
And I’m presuming it’s on a bicycle.
Jose Gutierrez 30:41
It is on a bicycle.
Carlton Reid 30:42
Do you have pictures?
Describe this or show me pictures? Looks like?
Jose Gutierrez 30:47
Yes. Well? Well, basically, it’s like, I was just opening my computer. Let me see. I don’t have
Carlton Reid 30:55
he’s coming. The guy who draws that he’s coming. How easy he’s coming to Yes. Well, I’m meeting him later on.
Jose Gutierrez 30:59
Oh, I’m gonna look for him. Because I know there’s a new cartoon that I want to say.
Carlton Reid 31:04
I’ll send him
Jose Gutierrez 31:05
Oh, yeah. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.
Carlton Reid 31:07
I’ll just jump in here to explain that Jose had an illustration on his laptop drawn by Dave Walker. And I introduced the two later on, because Dave was also at the show, in fact, on on one of my free tickets anyway, Dave is on the next show.
So for now, we have this little device
where I’m going to describe this. So that’s basically a box a big grey box that you attach to the handlebars.
Jose Gutierrez 31:33
Carlton Reid 31:33
And that’s, that’s more than just a camera. So there’s an accelerometers in there.
Jose Gutierrez 31:38
Carlton Reid 31:39
Is it doing surface roughness?
Jose Gutierrez 31:41
Carlton Reid 31:41
is it doing the vibrations it is
Jose Gutierrez 31:43
It has some he has some, some sensors, we’re actually adding more, or the moment we’re working on this device, we’re improving it. So this is, let’s say version one of the device. And at the same time, we have the mobile app that is doing the same thing for now in the mobile in the mobile phone, on the phone. So our idea is to offer now we have actually, we’ve been working on this a little bit less than a year. So our idea is to use a mobile app now. Then start using the device to avoid having a super extensive AI model to analyse the attributes.
Carlton Reid 32:14
So my next question is we must be AI in here somewhere that’s analysing this afterwards. That’s good. Okay,
Jose Gutierrez 32:20
we’re now we’re doing both AI work and manual work to do this. Imagine like, over 40 attributes, every 10 intersections, so there is a lot of coding to be done. So we are using AI to save the time. So
Carlton Reid 32:30
give me so it’s it’s junctions. It’s number of pedestrian pedestrian interactions. What? Yeah, more of the 41 of the
Jose Gutierrez 32:40
Yeah, yeah. So some of them is the width, the width of the cycling, the roughness of the surface, if there’s curvature, if there’s this low, here, there’s adjacent lanes of vehicles. There’s what type of facility it is, if it’s off road or on the road, yeah, over 40 Art units,
Carlton Reid 32:58
and then the city gets an overall score. Exactly. And then there’s like red spots or hotspots and you must go and fix this bit. That is why the AI says is that it is
Jose Gutierrez 33:10
a little bit project based. So you can either analyse the whole network, as you mentioned, or you can analyse one specific route with this a couple of tunnels, for example. So we want to check, what is the safety or what what attributes can be changed in that in those tunnels, we’ll make sure that we can improve them to we can improve the safety of them. So it is project based, but yeah, the typical will be analysing the whole network and make it a maintenance plan or an investment plan for the cycle routes.
Carlton Reid 33:33
And if you envisage this technology being used by people in one city, or people we’re going to be going, who’s basically doing this, which is one company doing this, are you selling the technology, so lots of people can do this?
Jose Gutierrez 33:52
Yeah. So while we envision is to have partners during this, and using both leveraging our knowledge, and being part of the methodology, and also using the technology to do them themselves. So I guess
Carlton Reid 34:03
the question there was, there’s a long way of saying I’m sorry, what is Yeah,
are you selling the box or the service? The service? Okay, so so that that
was that was difficult.
Jose Gutierrez 34:12
I’m looking for partners, probably in other parts of the world, right? But this can be that’s a good thing. This is an easy and cheap way to analyse the safety of cycle routes. Okay,
Carlton Reid 34:22
so this is gonna be for a podcast. So tell me where people can get more information on lane patrol.
Jose Gutierrez 34:29
Yeah, so you can you can look for us and Keita dot mobi so Keita ke ita dot m o b i You can email me at Jose dot Gutierrez at Gator dot moving on. We’re soon to launch our limpets or website. So we’re about to do that will be Lane patrol.com dot it’s coming soon.
Carlton Reid 34:56
Thanks to all of my guests today there and thanks to you for listening to episode 333 of the Spokesmen podcast, brought to you in association with Tern Bicycles. Show notes and more can be found at the-spokesmen.com. The next episode will be out soon and will be a whole bunch more interviews recorded at the Move conference including cartoonist Dave Walker, a bamboo bike company from Portugal, bike mechanic folks from Fettle, Alex from Flit bike and Xavier, the CEO of Sustrans. There will also be extracts from a chat I had with Henri Moissingiac recorded from Move’s main stage but meanwhile get out there and ride.