A light that changes to green as you approach on your bike. With Schwung on your mobile you no longer need to leave it to coincidence: the smart app from Vialis requests a green light as you approach a traffic signal, meaning you are less likely to have to stop.
The app is designed to make travelling by bike more attractive. Schwung also improves traffic safety by enabling the light to stay green for longer so that cyclists who would otherwise just miss the light can still cross safely. Furthermore reduced waiting times mean that cyclists are less likely to go through a red light.
From smartphones with GPS and internet to traffic control systems with communication systems. The Schwung functionality was developed by linking existing systems together in a smart way. “All the technologies already existed, but they had never been linked together in such a way before,” explains Product Manager Robin van Wijk. “That’s what makes Schwung unique.”
Greener all the time
The ambition of the team behind Schwung is clear: to roll out the technology in as many municipalities and provinces as possible. The cities of Enschede and Den Bosch have already introduced the app, with pilots planned in Breda and Hilversum. But in addition to road authorities the Vialis team is also in talks with app developers. “Developers can use our software development kit to integrate the Schwung functionality in their apps,” explains Robin. “That is of interest for all apps used by cyclists, such as route planners, route guides and sports apps for racing cyclists and mountain bikers.”
Improving the flow
By making lights smarter Schwung can also greatly improve the flow of traffic. The app enables traffic control systems to detect cyclists coming from further away so that they can direct the traffic flows in a smarter way. For example it is more efficient to allow groups of cyclists through in one go rather than in dribs and drabs. For large groups such as schoolchildren it is even possible to create a ‘green wave’ so they no longer need to wait at all.
Super accurate map
What are important destinations for cyclists? Where are waiting times longest? And are the busiest cycle tracks still wide enough to guarantee safety? Up until now such questions could only be answered using sampling and estimation models. But Schwung provides road authorities with a wealth of information that they can use to create a super accurate picture of bicycle traffic. This will enable municipalities and provinces to take a more targeted approach to bottlenecks and avoid potential problems.
A day on the job …