Giving A Beep About Safety: New Tech-Enabled Initiative Aims To Make London Safer For Cyclists

Forget weapons or martial arts, all you need is a button on your bicycle to feel safe riding through streets of London.

learn more about Sindhu Hariharan

By Sindhu Hariharan • Jun 22, 2016

Hovding

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Forget weapons or martial arts, all you need is a button on your bicycle to feel safe riding through streets of London. The Give a Beep initiative by Swedish company Hövding (which produces airbags for cyclists) and PR platform Mynewsdesk aims to make cyclists' journey through London's urban roads safe and comfortable. By pressing a Flic button attached to the handlebars of a cycle, cyclists can "beep" out hazards whenever they feel unsafe or uncomfortable while riding through the streets of the city. Thanks to the button's connection to the cyclist's phone through Bluetooth, the location data is fed into a crowdsourced map with the aid of the Flic app, marking out routes considered hazardous for cyclists, while also collating data on environments where riders felt unsafe. Further, in order to make it more effective, each press of the button also triggers an email to be sent to the city's Mayor about the cyclists' situation.

Crowdsourced map showing areas marked by cyclists, as a part of the initiative.Image credit: Hovding.
According to a BBC report, the month of May 2016 saw deaths of 11 cyclists and pedestrians on London's roads, and there have been increasing demonstrations and protests for fixing this particular problem. Currently, Hövding has distributed 500 Flic buttons to members and supporters of the London Cycling Campaign -a 12,000+ members group that lobbies for better cycling conditions in the city– urging them to "give a *beep*" about cyclist safety. According to a statement by Hövding, though people of London are increasingly enthusiastic about cycling, "the infrastructure doesn't allow it," and hence the initiative hopes to let cyclists themselves report about places that need attention. Amy Summers, campaign coordinator, London Cycling Campaign, hopes that the 500 Londoners giving "a beep" will remind London's Mayor Sadiq Khan to work on fulfilling his election pledge of making London cycle-friendly. According to a report by the Washington Post, the map had 1,000 locations logged for its unsafe conditions in just a week's time.

Source: Hovding's Give a Beep initiative.

Related: Charicycles: Building Vintage Rides For Business And Social Impact

Sindhu Hariharan

Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Sindhu Hariharan is the Features Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East.  She is a financial consultant turned business journalist with a FOMO when it comes to everything technology.

Related Topics

Career

60 Second Business Tips: 3 Ways to Boost Confidence

Business development consultant Terry Rice on silencing self-doubt.

Business News

Frontier Airlines Just Announced Its All-You-Can-Fly Summer Pass for $399. What's the Catch?

As travel begins to pick up, the airline hopes unlimited travel will jumpstart its business.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Science & Technology

How to Build an App When You Have No Coding Knowledge or Programming Skills

The world is moving towards a no-code era. In this article, we'll discuss what no-code app builders are, how they work, and why founders and startups should opt for them to build an application.

Leadership

Truly Independent Thinkers Have These 5 Traits

Every business needs independent thinkers to help lead the team to success. Here's how to spot them.