Experiencing a Cyclist’s Perspective Using a 360 Degree Camera

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The Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy, published in 2018, sets out a vision for a healthier, greener and more prosperous city. The strategy makes clear that a new type of thinking is required to increase active, efficient and sustainable travel to help achieve this vision for London.

The strategy uses the ‘Healthy Streets’ approach which makes health and personal experience the priority as the city’s future is planned. This includes the promotion of more walking, cycling and using public transport.

Each year around 4,000 people are killed or seriously injured on London’s roads. People walking, cycling or riding motorcycles make up more than half of all casualties on London’s roads and around 80% of all deaths. In 2018, the Mayor of London, Transport for London (TfL) and Metropolitan Police launched a bold Vision Zero action plan to end the toll of deaths and serious injuries on London’s streets.

Cycling is a fundamental element towards attaining a healthier lifestyle and benefits from the negative pollution normally associated with motor vehicles. However, there are numerous barriers to cycling especially during construction.

TfL have been trialling the use of a 360 degree camera when cycling construction areas and roadworks to gain a holistic cycling perspective. The camera is mounted on the rider’s back allowing the person carrying the camera to focus on riding and not what the camera is filming.

The camera supplies video footage and enables the viewer (using a desktop PC to use the mouse to drag across the screen or on a smart device) when viewed on YouTube to use the in-built devices gyroscopic sensors to have an all-round (360) view of the cycling experience. This includes how other road users approach the rider from the rear, close passes, the variety of positions on the road the cyclist may need to be located due to carriageway surface conditions and document the experience of travelling in and around roadworks and associated diversions.

The videos aim to educate designers and those who don’t cycle to get a better feel for what it’s like to be a cyclist. This will help promote safer designs through user experiences, supply documented evidence and a step further towards achieving Vision Zero targets.

We are building a portfolio of cycling experiences which can be used to supply contractors and designers a better understanding of road conditions especially when designing traffic management layouts. We are also investigating use of the camera to supply the perspectives from the non-disabled pedestrian, people who are; older, visual impaired, wheelchair users’ and people with hidden disabilities.

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Entry submitted by Transport for London

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