Icoms’ Sensor Technology Makes Amsterdam’s Bike Lanes Safer
The popularity of cycling continues to grow in Europe. In Amsterdam, where this trend is not new, every day, 400,000 cyclists take their bikes to get to their destinations, which is reflected in the congestion of the bike paths. Our Dutch partner, Multisensors, asked Ewald Dijkstra, senior advisor of mobility research at the City of Amsterdam, what challenges they face in the field of bicycle mobility and why they chose the Signum bicycle counter.
The Need for Quality Bicycle Data
Dijkstra pointed out that while motorized traffic is fairly well known, there is very little data on bicycle traffic, and what there is consists mostly of snapshots. He also notes that the technologies used so far, such as induction loops or pneumatic tubes, are unreliable or too fragile for permanent use. The Amsterdam municipality needs a real picture, based on reliable data, of the actual bicycle congestion in the city. The challenge is to understand the bottlenecks and make the cycle paths safer by optimizing the flow of cyclists.
Dijkstra conducted a comparative study at a pilot site and found that the Signum radar was more reliable than manual counting. The accuracy is well over 90%, even during peak hours and bicycle congestion. The data (volume, speed, direction) is naturally anonymous and accessible online in real time.
Icoms Radar/Lidar Technology
The technology behind Signum is the TMA-3B3, designed and manufactured in Belgium by Icoms Detections, which Multisensors integrates into a customized housing. This sensor combines a Doppler radar and a lidar. The latter technology separates individual bicycles from groups, making the product particularly accurate in counting.
The radar communicates with a modem via an RS-232 link, and a solar panel makes it autonomous and functional 24 hours a day, all year round, making continuous measurement possible. This allows the city of Amsterdam to determine the relative ridership at the various measurement points, considering external factors influencing bicycle traffic, such as periodic events or weather conditions.