Bicycle Flows with Skialabs 

Pilot in Delft 

How can data be used to improve bicycle flows around the city?

 

QUICK FACTS

  • Project: Improving bicycle flows through the city
  • Location: Delft, the Netherlands, with 103.000 inhabitants
  • Challenge: Using open data to gain insights into the bicycle flows in Delft
  • Solution: The creation of a digital twin of the cycling network of Delft

 

THE CHALLENGE

As in other Dutch cities, the bicycle roads in the city of Delft are used by a large number of cyclists. Especially during rush-hour, this sometimes leads to overcrowded bicycle roads. For this reason, Delft would like to stimulate a more constant and safer flow of cyclists, distributing them on more roads. In order to make this possible, a continues insight of bicycle flows is necessary. For this challenge, the city of Delft cooperates with the Technical University of Delft and the start-up company called Skialabs.

SOLUTION

The start-up Skialabs will use open data to create a digital twin of the cycling network of Delft. This virtual environment will be used by the municipality to analyse both the real-time and forecasted bicycle flow and the dependency of this flow on various related factors such as the usage of various routes, the weather, time, events in the city etc. Furthermore, an application for cyclists will be developed which constructs optimal routes and informs about the routes’ travel time, created congestion, attractiveness and other relevant factors that influence the choice of route. This will allow the cyclist to select a route based on his/her preferences, in this way encouraging him/her to choose alternative routes that may be longer in distance, but will have a higher comfort level.

PILOT STAGE

At the current stage of the pilot, the focus is on gathering data on cycling flows in Delft. Rather than installing hardware to collect data ourselves, the aim is to obtain sufficient data from mostly geo-based apps. Discussions are ongoing with a US-based company that trades in this type of data. If these discussions turn out to be successful and an agreement is reached, a first version of the digital twin can be created. This digital version of the cycling network of Delft will then be further improved with additional data sources. If the data cannot be obtained or turns out to be of insufficient quality, the first alternative will be further explored which is installing Wi-Fi sensors along the most used cyclist routes.