CityConnect Go! - Bringing Augmented Reality to Cycling

CityConnect is collaborating with the University of Bradford, Digital Media Working Academy to develop an Augmented Reality (AR) app for cyclists.

Working with students and lecturers, the project will explore how using the typical elements of game playing - or gamification - might be utilised to enhance people’s experience of cycling.

Prototype

Linking the cities of Bradford and Leeds, West Yorkshire’s Cycle Superhighway, provides cyclists with a segregated traffic- free environment. The route will be used as the basis for the app’s first prototype.

Riders will be able to explore features of the route including the signage used and the shared conventions and considerations cyclists, motorists and pedestrians are asked to observe.Safety will be a key aspect, with players being rewarded for being a safe, responsible cyclist, and having points deducted for inconsiderate or reckless riding.

The Working Academy will develop the prototype through involvement with local schools and other community and cycling groups, engaging with them to develop and test features of the app.

Proof of concept

Simon Couth, University of Bradford, Head of the Digital Media Working Academy said:

“By developing the proof of concept for the AR cycling app, we will have the perfect opportunity to engage with groups who traditionally don’t tend to cycle. With the help from the CityConnect cycling engagement team, we will work with groups such as young professionals or older members of the Asian community to find out how an AR cycling app could encourage them to cycle more, especially on the Cycle Superhighway.

“Creating an augmented reality app for cyclists that puts safety and fun at the heart, is the sort of innovative challenge that the University is really keen to take on.”

Cutting edge

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee and Leader of Bradford Council said:

“We are excited to establish this relationship with the University of Bradford Digital Media Working Academy, not only to provide students with an interesting project and valuable work experience but also to be bringing something as innovative as Augmented Reality to cycling.

“Technology is an important and ever increasing feature in all elements of people's lives and we are keen to harness cutting edge developments for cyclists.

“The Cycle Superhighway between Bradford and Leeds provides cyclists with some of the best dedicated cycling infrastructure in the country and this app will add a new level of engagement and enjoyment for the many people using it.

“It will give us also give us the ability to communicate and engage with new stakeholder groups and give more people the opportunity to enjoy a healthier and more active lifestyle using CityConnect routes.”

The prototype is scheduled to be developed and showcased at the Cycle City Active City conference, being hosted by Bradford Council and supported by CityConnect on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 May.Find out more about Cycle City Active City Bradford (opens in new tab)

CityConnect will also be looking at further uses for the AR Cycling App.