Real time just in time

The word ‘smart’ gets thrown around a good bit these days, whether we are talking about phones, televisions or cars and now the whole city seems to have become smart overnight with the aid of technology.

Smart technology uses real-time information relying on sensors and algorithms to provide data to local councils for analysis to adapt and make improvements for the future.
An example of smart technology would be the Dublin Bus Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) that we wonder now how we did without. As of March last year, smart technology has enabled the four Dublin local authorities to come together under the ‘Smart City’ initiative to bring Dublin into the next generation of Smart Cities. One of the aspects of this ‘Smart City’ programme, according to programme manager Jamie Cudden “is to engage with smart tech providers, researchers and citizens to solve challenges and improve city life.”

An example of this is the new ICON light for cyclists developed by SeeSense and supported by Enterprise Ireland to be rolled out in October. According to Irene McAleese from SeeSense “the light, which has 270° visibility and transfers the data it collects to the rider’s smartphone via bluetooth, measures characteristics about the road conditions such as the location and formation of potholes. It also logs situational information such as near-miss events and how often cyclists use roads, cycle lanes and greenways. This data will be sent to data science experts at the University of Belfast who will obtain meaningful data from it to improve cyclist safety and infrastructure as a whole.”

Recent attention has been brought to the treacherous journeys cyclists have to make in this area, with our coverage of the blocking of the cycle lanes in this issue. Being a cyclist myself who knows the D4 area, I’m well aware of spots that need to be improved, like the bend at Kielys of Donnybrook and the Blackrock road where for some reason the adjacent bus lane becomes as narrow as the bike lane, resulting in the cyclist sharing half his lane with half a bus. Not forgetting the impossible route on Strand Road that needs a whole new infrastructure completely. However, we might be scratching our heads about that one for a while to come.

By Paul Carton