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How can citywide cycling be increased and made more attractive? Aspects such as traffic safety, travel time, and ride comfort are decisive influencing factors for this. The research project "PrioBike HH" is looking for practicable answers.
The main actors in the project are the Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the Technical University of Dresden (TUD), in particular the Chair of Traffic Process Automation at the Faculty of Transportation Sciences "Friedrich List" in cooperation with the Chair of Distributed and Networked Systems at the Faculty of Computer Science.
The PrioBike project aims to accelerate cycling traffic, reduce waiting times, provide intelligent information transfer and guidance, and increase safety in cycling traffic using digital tools. To this end, the project is currently working on the development of an information system for cyclists. This is intended to provide users with a speed recommendation when they pass intersections controlled by traffic lights. This would make waiting at red lights obsolete. The speed recommendations will be displayed on information boards in traffic.
In addition, an app is being developed that stores individual cyclists' driving and speed information and provides multi-criteria bicycle routing along various intersections. Simultaneously, the app collects anonymized movement data of the app users, which is subsequently analyzed.
The first project measures implemented to accelerate cycling in Hamburg include a "green wave" set up in May 2022 with the help of dynamically designed traffic lights along three bicycle routes in Hamburg (VR1, 3 and 5). These are in place from 05:00 to 13:00 inbound and from 13:00 outbound (VR1 and 3). In addition, there is a PrioBike column (Rothenbaumchausee, Hamburg) for calculating and displaying individual driving speed recommendations. Furthermore, the project achieved a reversal of the classic traffic light prioritization in favor of pedestrians and cyclists at the intersection Bundesstraße/ Kaiser-Friedrich-Ufer in Hamburg.
The PrioBike app has been beta-tested by cyclists in Hamburg since the fall of 2022 and is scheduled to be available for free download at the end of August 2023.
The PrioBike-HH project was launched in 2021 and will run until 2024. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) with a total volume of approximately 8 million euros.
Insight into the PrioBike App
PrioBike bicycle column in cooperation with Yunex Traffic
In December 2022, the first PrioBike bicycle column in Hamburg was put into operation in cooperation with the Authority for Transport and Mobility Change and the company Yunex Traffic. The speed recommendations displayed for cyclists are intended to enable increased riding comfort and the smooth crossing of green road junctions. The system itself was developed and deployed by Yunex.
The technology used for this is based on a traffic light phase assistant, which detects cyclists in the corresponding zones 120 to 80 metres before a traffic light with the help of detectors. The column then compares the predicted green phases of the nearest traffic lights. An ideal speed recommendation is then calculated. If cyclists cannot realistically adapt to the recommended speed, the column indicates that the next green phase will not be reached.
Dipl.-Ing. Sven Fröhlich
Professorship for Traffic Process Automation
Faculty of Transport Sciences "Friedrich List", TU Dresden