Two connected motorbike projects win the challenge to reduce accidents in Barcelona

A motorbike monitoring system by Catalan company Mapit and an artificial intelligence-based driver assistance system by Singapore’s Rider Dome have won the challenge to find solutions to help reduce motorbike accidents launched by Barcelona City Council, in collaboration with the 2030 Agenda Commissioner, BIT Habitat and Fira de Barcelona, at the Tomorrow.Mobility World Congress. The projects will begin pilot testing in the city in 2023 and will run for one year.

The Mapit CARE project, by the Catalan company Mapit, aims to contribute to reducing the number and severity of accidents by analyzing driving style, vehicle conditions and the environment, and managing accidents through a sensor fitted to motorbikes. The data that the sensor constantly transmits is used to make recommendations to drivers through an app that can be accessed prior to the start of their motorbike rides and to anonymously report to the City Council both the habits of motorcyclists and the most critical points and hours in order to be able to take the necessary corrective measures. Mapit’s project, which will receive €77,043 in funding, has the advantage of already having 17,000 sensorized motorbikes in Barcelona, which enables the project to be implemented.

Singapore-based company Rider Dome will test in Barcelona an advanced motorbike driver assistance system that harnesses the potential of computer vision and artificial intelligence to alert drivers in real time of nearby threats by means of lights installed in the stems of the rear-view mirrors that will provide warning signals to the driver. The aim is to reduce the number of accidents thanks to the extra time provided by the warnings, allowing drivers to react and avoid accidents before they happen. Among the hazards that the system warns of are collision, blind spots and safety distance, among others.

The system will also upload the data to the cloud in real time so that it can be analyzed later on. In this way, drivers will have information on the alerts they have received during their trips and on the place where they have received them, which will enable them to foresee future risks. For its part, Barcelona City Council will be able to know the points with the highest concentration of alerts, which will enable it to take preventive action. Rider Dome will receive €96,000 to install its system on a fleet of motorbikes and carry out pilot tests in the Catalan capital.

The projects will be implemented in the city on a 1-year pilot basis. Once completed, the results will be evaluated and the possibilities of further implementation will be assessed.

The Deputy Mayor for the 2030 Agenda, Digital Transition, Sports, Territorial and Metropolitan Coordination and Councillor for Mobility, Laia Bonet, highlighted the large response to the call for this challenge “which has made it possible to unify innovation and safety in a sector as important as the motorbike sector in the city of Barcelona“. The Deputy Mayor wanted to highlight the fact that “the winning solutions have come from both international and local sources, which shows that Barcelona is becoming a pole of attraction for innovation and new solutions in the field of mobility“. “The winning formulas are committed to the use of data and driving assistance and show us how different solutions add up and can be effective for the same problem“, she said. “In this case, this challenge will help us to tackle the reduction of accidents among motorists, a priority issue for Barcelona” she added.

International challenge

The call for proposals for the challenge to reduce motorcycle-related accidents received 46 applications from 20 countries, 63% of which were international. The remaining 17 came from Spain. Specifically: 12 from Catalonia; 3 from Madrid; 1 from Andalusia and 1 from the Basque Country. The initiatives presented, which demonstrated a high technical and quality level, will be able to have an international projection with their participation in the next edition of Tomorrow.Mobility World Congress, an event organized by Fira and the EIT Urban Mobility (an initiative of the European Union), which will be held next November together with the Smart City Expo World Congress at Fira de Barcelona.

The large turnout of companies from all over the world supports the aim of the urban challenge as a formula for solving complex problems with innovative solutions, attracting talent, companies and economic activity, and consolidates Barcelona’s role as a benchmark city in the field of urban mobility.

Barcelona Innova Lab Mobility

Barcelona is one of the European cities with the highest number of motorbikes and mopeds, which account for 33% of the total number of vehicles, and motorbike riders account for 86% of those seriously injured, according to the accident figures for the first half of 2022. To curb these figures, the Barcelona City Council and the DGT signed an agreement to promote initiatives to reduce motorbike accidents in the city.

This is the context of the Barcelona Innova Lab Mobility initiative promoted by the Agenda 2030 Commissioner with the support of BIT Habitat, which aims to promote the implementation of pilot tests and new projects in the field of smart and sustainable urban mobility in order to diversify the city’s economy and consolidate Barcelona as the capital of innovation in mobility in southern Europe.