Development of Instrumented Bikes: Toward Smart Cycling Infrastructure and Maintenance

The use of geospatial and remote sensing in cycling mobility has yet to receive significant attention, likely due to limited efforts in manufacturing instrumented bikes or smart bikes to actually promote cycling mobility and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Particularly, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, the encouraging of cycling can decrease exposure to others on public transport, reduce air pollution, and promote improved health and well-being. With the continued growth in cycling activity and infrastructure throughout the country, the question of how to obtain real time information on cycling facilities that would help better maintain the quality of these facilities and provide safe environment for cyclists has become a concern among city, county, and state engineers. This project will develop an instrumented bike with a sensor logger, a video device (e.g., GoPro), a mobile app, and a cloud server/website to detect realtime quality of cycling infrastructure systems (bike trails, sidewalks, pedestrian pathways, etc.), and immediately share the information with cyclists (road users) and governments/authorities (road managers). The instrumented bike is designed to travel along bike trails and other locations where cyclists ride but motor vehicles cannot access to collect vibration responses and record videos. All vibration and video data collected from cycling will be wireless transferred to the cloud server for computing using the algorithms developed in the project and identified potential hazards (e.g., severe potholes, bumps, cracks, etc.) will be georeferenced and displayed in both computers and smart mobile phones. By equipping bikes with sensors, existing trail geometric and surface conditions can be examined and quantified, and potential hazards on a bike route can be analyzed, identified and communicated to other riders. Cyclists who share the information of instrumented bile via the mobile app or cloud website will be informed of the locations and images of potential hazards prior to cycling so that they will be prepared or able to adjust their cycling route accordingly. The purpose of the project is to introduce an instrumented bike to the cycling community and agencies with a goal to provide “smart wheels” for day-to-day cycling operations, improve bike efficiency, safety, and mobility, promote cycling activities, and reduce emissions.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $100,000.00
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Department of Transportation

      Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC    20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      METRANS Transportation Center

      University of Southern California
      Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089-0626
    • Project Managers:

      Brinkerhoff, Cort

    • Performing Organizations:

      Northern Arizona University

      Civil and Environmental Engineering
      PO box 15600
      Flagstaff, Arizona  United States  86011
    • Principal Investigators:

      Ho, Chun-Hisng

    • Start Date: 20210815
    • Expected Completion Date: 20220814
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01775602
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: METRANS Transportation Center
    • Files: RIP
    • Created Date: Jun 29 2021 4:59PM