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BT and See.Sense light the way for safe cycling in Manchester with Internet of Things project

Press Release   •   Aug 03, 2017 09:15 BST

BT has announced the launch of a new project with See.Sense, an innovative cycling company from Northern Ireland, to provide sensor-enabled and connected bike lights to up to 180 cyclists across Manchester as part of CityVerve, the UK’s smart city demonstrator.

The See.Sense light sensors, known as ICONs, connect via Bluetooth

to an app on Android phones. The app will transmit anonymised data on the cyclist’s environment - such as the quality of the road surface, light levels, as well as cycling routes, collisions and near-miss events - back to BT’s Internet of Things (IoT) data hub.

Many thousands of IoT data feeds are collated by the BT hub and presented in a uniform way for innovators and city planners working with CityVerve. By acting as an information broker, the hub lowers the barrier to participation in the IoT ecosystem. Easy access to the data will help developers turn innovative ideas into applications in many areas, including planning ways to improve cycling infrastructure, and creating policies to promote cycling in the city.

See.Sense were crowned winners of a BT competition last year and received a £15,000 prize fund to help with their project. The award-winning lights are designed specifically to be daylight-visible, enhancing cyclist safety in all lighting conditions, while flashing brighter and faster in riskier situations such as round junctions and roundabouts. They were also recently voted ‘Best Bike Gadget’ by readers of road.cc, the UK’s biggest online cycling website.

Professor John Davies, Chief Researcher of Future Technologies at BT, said: “This is an exciting project to be working on with Manchester City Council and CityVerve. There are wide range of opportunities emerging from the real-time data collected from the lights and other sources stored in our platform, bringing valuable insights for the city’s infrastructure and policies, and helping develop a safer and better cycling experience for the people of Manchester.”

Irene McAleese, Co-founder of See.Sense, said: “This project is providing us with an opportunity to have a closed trial for data collection at scale, and show how our unique crowdsourced data can be used to reduce barriers to cycling, particularly around safety. Better data will help to make cycling more visible to policy makers, and allow cities to take adaptive, data-driven decisions. This will also provide the opportunity for improved integration of cycling into the city’s mobility plans.”

The lights are heavily subsidised as part of the trial and will be available to participants for only £10 instead of the usual RRP of £79.99, but must be collected at nominated collection points.The app which tracks the lights is only available via Android phones. The trial will run from the 14th of August until the end of the CityVerve project, and the cyclists can keep using their lights at the end of the trial.

Cyclists interested in participating in the trial should register their interest here

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com

About See.Sense

See.Sense is an award-winning cycling technology and data company, headquartered in Newtownards, Northern Ireland. From the its initial launch on the the crowd-funding website Kickstarter in 2013, the company has gone on to be stocked with major retailers and sell into more than 50 countries around the world.The company won the BT SME Award for Connected Cities in 2016 and was a winner of the Smart Dublin Cycling Challenge.


About CityVerve

CityVerve is a collaboration of the brightest minds and pioneering technologies to help create a smart, innovative, inspiring Manchester.

The CityVerve project brings together the latest Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, deployed at city scale to deliver transformative benefits: new business and jobs for Manchester; better healthcare, transport and environment; and more engaged and empowered citizens.

It was established in July 2016 with a two-year remit to demonstrate the capability of IoT applications and address barriers to deploying smart cities, such as city governance, network security, user trust and adoption, interoperability, scalability and justifying investment. Combining technology and business model innovations, it will create a real-life blueprint for smart cities worldwide.

Led by Manchester City Council, the consortium of 21 core organisations – including Manchester Science Partnerships, the University of Manchester, Cisco, Ordnance Survey and other tech players – is backed by the UK Government and Innovate UK.

For more information, please visit cityverve.org.uk or follow CityVerve on Twitter at @CityVerve.