Science and Technology Facilities Council
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Satellite technology protects cyclists from large vehicle black spots

The Department of Transport’s THINK! campaign states that a third of collisions between cyclists and lorries happen at a left turn, many due to blind spots. Now, one start-up company is about to use space technology to eliminate the issue of blind spots in lorries, buses and other large vehicles altogether.

SeeCycle is developing a system that makes cyclists more visible to HGVs and buses by creating a ‘virtual protective field’ around the vehicle, which alerts the driver when a cyclist moves into their blind spot.

Daniel Warner, CEO at SeeCycle said: “Last year a fifth of crashes in the UK where cyclists were killed involved HGVs. This is a scary statistic at a time when people want to be healthier and help protect the environment by cycling more. Safety is a major and valid concern for cyclists, but by virtually eliminating blind spots in large vehicles, we are creating a safer journey for cyclists.”

Combining satellite navigation technology with hardware fitted either as a tag, or via an app, to both the cyclist and in the bus, SeeCycle is developing a system that can alert heavy vehicle drivers as soon as a cyclist moves into their blind spot so that they can react appropriately.

The company is finalising its prototype system at the European Space Agency’s Business Incubation Centre at Harwell (ESA BIC Harwell) in Oxfordshire, which supports small businesses and entrepreneurs who are using space technologies to develop products and services for non-space markets.

Managed and co-funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the ESA BIC Harwell provides up to 10 small companies every year with a combination of £41,500 funding and access to STFC’s world leading research facilities, skills and business support.

Michael Norris, STFC’s Head of Business Incubation, said: “This is a fantastic example of how access to the right business support and facilities can help pioneering start-ups, like SeeCycle, take space technologies into completely different industries, turning brilliant ideas into successful, profitable businesses that can save lives. This is exactly what STFC and the ESA BIC Harwell sets out to help small companies achieve.”

The ESA BIC Harwell is one of a European network of 16 successful ESA BICs, helping small companies and start-ups to turn their brilliant ideas using space technology into marketable products and services for non-space sectors. Find out further information, and how to get involved, at the ESA BIC Harwell website.

Notes to Editors

Contact
Wendy Ellison
Science and Technology Facilities Council
01925 603232
Wendy.ellison@stfc.ac.uk

Further information about the Department of Transport’s Think! campaign here.

ESA BIC Harwell

Set up by the European Space Agency in 2011 as part of its thriving Europe-wide BIC network and managed by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) (link opens in a new window), the ESA BIC Harwell draws on both organisation’s outstanding track record in high-tech business incubations – providing a unique environment geared exclusively to accelerating innovation and unlocking your commercial potential.

Based at the world-renowned Harwell (link opens in a new window) science and innovation campus, the ESA BIC Harwell is a place alive with drive, ambition and imagination – the perfect location to get your business off the ground. http://www.esa-bic.org.uk/default.aspx

 

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