Towards safer mobility in cities and communities: a framework to assist the design process of cycling warning systems
Authors: Pedro Santos, António Gomes, Violeta Clemente
Abstract: Cycling is currently booming as an affordable mean of transportation to replace fossil fuel vehicles. Regardless of multiple projects to increase and promote safe cycling environments, riders safety is a growing concern since it is affected by multiple variables such as circulating vehicles and pedestrians, road and city design and conditions, rider’s behavior, bicycle characteristics, among others.Currently, there are already some devices to help bicycle riders to discern threats in their journey and the literature reports a few studies aiming to evaluate users perception regarding such devices effectiveness and usability. However, according to our knowledge, those studies are scattered, focused on evaluating specific solutions and their contributions were not yet described in a holistic perspective. Based on a scoping literature review, presented paper aims to add a contribution to the topic by arranging knowledge from across those fragmented research approaches into a coherent framework.Since this work is part of a project focused on cycling safety solutions based on the use of digital technologies to assist rider preventive behaviour, the review was firstly conducted by assessing research dealing with this still emerging concept of rider self-protection enabled through warning systems, transportable by the cyclist or applicable on a bicycle, independent of the existence of a dedicated and/or exclusive external infrastructure. Additionally, some studies addressing safety measures depending upon other vehicles, city facilities or any other external entities or devices were also assessed, identifying the risk situations they address and user requirements in an alert situation. Aiming to bridge and unify knowledge, an integrative framework was developed. The framework intends to depict the principles of cycling self-safety systems mediated by smart devices, revealing key variables and concepts, clarifying its definitions and foundations, relationships between them, related processes and evaluation/measurement factors.The main contribution of this work is the proposal of a provisional integrative framework to serve as a guide during the process of designing cycling warning systems. Proposed framework is expected to assist the different activities throughout the design process, providing design and evaluation guidelines for selection of unexplored product development opportunities, new concepts development and selection, test and validation of prototypes or even products already in the market.
Keywords: cycling warning systems, cycling safety, accidents prevention, design process guidelines, integrative framework
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