cycle-eyeBristol-based engineering company Fusion Processing Ltd have developed a pioneering product called CycleEye to reduce the number of serious accidents and fatalities involving cyclist and large commercial vehicles.

Fusion Processing Ltd. have teamed up with First buses and Bristol Council to trial this product in Bristol.

CEO of Fusion Processing Ltd., Jim Hutchinson, said: ‘As a Bristol-based company we are delighted that the city council is the first local authority to support the adoption of cycle safety technology on public transport. The council has a strong commitment to cycling in the city and we can help enhance that reputation by making it a safer experience.’

The trail of CycleEye began yesterday in the city. It involves fitting buses with a radar and camera system that will help alert drivers to identify cyclist when they are in the vehicles’ blind spots. Upon sensing a cyclist in danger the system will alert the driver with an audible warning urging them to take extra care.

A preliminary trial in London saw the system achieve a 98.5% success in identifying cyclists. The system is supposed to ignore other objects such as bollards, railings or cars so they are not mistaken for bikes, thereby cutting out false alerts, which have been an issue with other cycle safety technologies.

With the ‘Bradley Wiggins Effect’ still in full force after the Olympics, there has been a big increase in the numbers of cyclists on Britain’s road. Unfortunately this has also led to a significant rise in the number of serious accidents involving cyclists.

Accidents in numbers

In 2012 more than 3000 cyclists were seriously injured. This is the highest number recorded by the Department for Transport in over a decade. The number of fatalities rose to 118, an increase of 10%.

The trial will take place on three buses on the Gloucester Road. It is part of an ongoing trial funded by four West of England local authorities, which will also include Wessex Busses.

Paul Matthews, Managing Director of First West of England, is optimistic about the trial saying: ‘CycleEye is an interesting piece of technology and we look forward to being able to review fully the findings of the study into it.’


You may also like: Discovering Startups 2014: Opportunity for new business in the South West

Kathryn Slade