Design, implementation and testing of a new mobile multifunction sensing device for identifying high-risk areas for bicyclists in highly congested urban streets

Suzana Duran Bernardes, Abdullah Kurkcu, Kaan Ozbay

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


The number of bicycle riders in New York City has been increasing steadily in the past few years. These numbers include private and shared bicycles. NYC bicycle network has been expanded to accommodate this new volume. Although this new infrastructure has reduced the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured (KSI) in some areas, in other areas similar improvements were not observed. This inconsistency of how the number of bicycle crashes varies from one region to another in the city is the primary motivation of this paper. A highly portable and inexpensive sensing device for measuring the distance between a bicycle and lateral objects is designed from scratch and developed. The developed mobile sensing device can also map bicycle trajectories to highlight critical segments where the safe distance from passing vehicles is not respected. This device which is powered by a portable power source is comprised of two ultrasonic sensors namely, a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, and a real-time clock (RTC). The sensor is secured inside a custom design 3D printed case. The case can be easily attached to any bicycle including shared Citi Bike bicycles for testing. The final prototype is entirely functional and used to collect sample data to demonstrate its effectiveness to address safety-related problems mentioned above. Finally, a dashboard is created to display collected key information. This key information can be used by researches and agencies for a better understanding of the factors contributing to the safety of bicycle routes.



  • Bicycle safety
  • IoT
  • Traffic
  • Ultrasonic sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)

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