SimRa, a cycling app developed at TU Berlin, is partner in a widescale SWR participative campaign
SimRa Takes Over Southwest Germany
SimRa, a cycling app developed at TU Berlin and the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF), is now a partner in a widescale SWR participative campaign
A large number of cyclists in Berlin already use SimRa and its users continue to grow. The state public service broadcaster Südwestdeutscher Rundfunk (SWR) has kicked off a major participative campaign for cyclists, calling on all of Southwest Germany to help improve traffic conditions. Participants can use the SimRa app to record hazardous situations or positive examples of traffic solutions which were well implemented. Cyclists who do not use the app can also participate by uploading their input to the SWR website.
This data will be shared with Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences and Technische Universität Berlin for scientific analysis. All submissions will be made available to the public on 22 March, one of two theme days SWR is devoting to the topic of cycling.
“With a strong focus on data protection and privacy, our SimRa app collects data on areas of the city where cyclists are especially at risk, the kinds of hazards they encounter, as well as detailed insight into whether these hazards are more likely to occur at a specific time or place. We also aim to identify main routes of bicycle traffic. We already have numerous partners in the Berlin metropolitan area,” says Professor Dr. David Bermbach, professor of mobile cloud computing at TU Berlin and the ECDF and initiator behind the app.
Input for new traffic concepts
At the moment, the app is available for Android and iOS. It uses GPS information to track cyclists’ routes as well as built-in acceleration sensors to detect near crashes such as sudden braking, swerving, or a fall. After their journey, users are asked to categorize and annotate the detected hazards, adding those which may not have been identified by the app. Then each cyclist’s route is uploaded and shared to the project server.
In cooperation with SWR, the collected data, which can either be uploaded to the SWR website or saved directly in the SimRa app, will be aggregated and scientifically assessed by Karlsruhe University of Applied Science and TU Berlin. “We are of course hoping for strong participation from cyclists in southern Germany.
Researchers hope for active participation of cyclists in the south of Germany
Acquiring new data allows us to continuously improve our app. The campaign will benefit all our users,” explains Bermbach. The data enable, for instance, comparisons between traffic problems in different cities and how well these were handled or where traffic policies could still be improved. “Additionally, our incident recognition improves as the variety of incidents grows. These data also supplement the open data which form the basis for all traffic research in Germany and are used to develop future traffic models,” says Bermbach, explaining the further benefits of the project.
To find out more, please contact:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. David Bermbach
Fachgebiet Mobile Cloud Computing
Telephone: 030 314-23287