Innovation That Matters

New cycling system helps riders beat red lights

Work & Lifestyle

Dutch city of Utrecht is pioneering a new system called Flo, which detects cyclists’ speeds and advises on whether to speed up or slow down to make the green lights.

There are few things more frustrating for cyclists than red lights, especially when riders have built up a good speed only to have to apply the brakes and lose all that momentum. To make things easier Dutch operation Springlab has designed a new system called Flo, which is being tested out in the city of Utrecht and has been set up to work alongside the city’s cycling lanes.

It works by using speed cameras placed 100 metres before each set of traffic lights, and calculates whether or not the cyclist should change speed to hit the green light. It uses animals to inform a cyclist if they should change speed, so a rabbit means speed up, a turtle means slow down, a cow means users are hitting the red light no matter what, and a simple thumbs up indicates the cyclist is doing the right speed.

It’s currently being tested out on Utrecht’s main road Amsterdamsestraatweg and all being well it’s hoped it’ll expand across the rest of the city and hopefully across Holland. Although it’s possible a nation so well known for its love of cycling will embrace such a system, whether or not it’ll go global is another matter. Another recent Dutch-based innovation ByCycling illustrates just how big cycling is in Holland, and in Poland a solar-powered glow in the dark bike lane is a genuinely impressive safety development. What other inventions are yet to be dreamt-up to make cycling more fun and safer?



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