“There’s a common problem in society with cyclists being involved in road incidents,” says James Duffy, commercial director and co-founder of Busby. “That’s what we set out to achieve – can we prevent them, and if they do happen, can we recognise them?
“With the advancement of technology, we can now do that. It’s only in the last two or three years that it’s been available to do.”
Busby, a road safety app, has now launched, aiming to help vulnerable road users.
It monitors the sensors in your phone in order to automatically detect incidents like a crash or a fall. If Busby detects an incident you’ll be asked if you are OK. You’ll have 30 seconds to move or respond before Busby assumes you need help. If you don’t confirm you are OK, your emergency contacts will be sent your location via SMS so help can arrive quicker than ever before.
“There are hardware products that do recognise incidents,” Duffy continues. “The problem is it costs to buy the product, whereas the last time we checked nine out of ten people in the UK have a smartphone. All they have to do is download the free app instead of buying a product.
“What we can with Busby is also target commuters, school children, horse riders, there’s a lot more cover with software.
“Now this technology is available that we utilise, we can put an additional safety aid on the cyclist whilst they’re out on the roads.”
Busby only launched last Friday, Duffy says, and it also has a lot of partnership channels in place. It has integrated with What3Words, a Daimler backed GPS system that accurately gives a location of 3m x 3m anywhere on the planet. The next feature it is working on is ‘RoadRadar’, – sending vehicle drivers and systems an advanced notification to alert them of a Busby vulnerable road user nearby, to prevent any human error.
“It’s not just aimed at the cyclists, it’s aimed at their loved ones,” Duffy continues. “We’ve got other features as well like group ride, so if you’re out on a bike ride in a group you can create your own little network within the Busby app.
“If one of you falls at the back of the group, the whole group gets notified instantly.
“From the technical side of things, it doesn’t cost much data to run. It uses sensors, it doesn’t use GPS. It recognises that you’re cycling – it knows if you’re walking, it knows if you’re running – it’s only when it recognises that you’re cycling that it starts the engine up. That’s when it kicks in, at that moment.
“You can have Busby running all day every day, but it’s only when you start cycling that the sensors kick it. It’s quite user-friendly.”