Smart signpost helps prevent electric bike and scooter accidents at intersections

Autotalks, a V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) communication solutions pioneer, is leveraging its V2X solution to prevent accidents between electric bicycles and electric scooters and cars. As part of this effort, Autotalks developed and successfully tested together with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University a ‘smart’ signpost for preventing accidents. The new signpost is intended for installation at intersections, where 75% of accidents involving cyclists occur.

“As a company dedicated to saving lives on the roads using V2X technology, Autotalks understood that a major factor was to prevent accidents involving electric bikes and scooters. In addition, we understood that the global deployment of V2X must begin with two-wheelers,” said Onn Haran, founder and CTO of Autotalks. “The smart signpost that we successfully tested with Ben-Gurion University serves as an important first milestone in equipping dangerous intersections with a comprehensive platform that will help prevent accidents involving two-wheeled electric vehicles.”

The ‘smart’ signpost is equipped with Autotalks’ V2X chipset and communicates with a V2X device installed on the electric bike or scooter. The signpost lights up when there is a two-wheeler at the intersection. Vehicles equipped with V2X will receive a warning on their screen if their car is endangering the rider.

Autotalks teamed up with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev for a trial that focused on analyzing and modeling the actions and behavior of the car driver. The trial was overseen by Noa Zangi, an M.A. student, under the direction of Dr. Avinoam Borowsky, an expert in Ergonomic Engineering from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. During the trial, a sophisticated driving simulator was used to check the impact of the smart signpost. The trial tested three scenarios – driving with the help of a smart signpost, driving with the help of a regular signpost, and the absence of a signpost. The simulator displayed a range of driving situations and monitored the driver’s braking and where his or her gaze was focused.

Drivers were 70% more likely to brake for the bike at the intersection with the smart signpost. A regular signpost boosted the driver’s attention to an electric bike rider by 20%. This improvement did not come at the expense of attention given to others at or near the intersection.

“As a researcher of driving behavior, I understand how a driver divides his or her attention at an intersection is critical. Our study determined that the smart signpost does in fact increase driver's alertness,” said Dr. Avinoam Borowsky, who oversaw the study. “The smart signpost has great potential in reducing electric bike accidents and we recommend a pilot study measuring the improvement at real intersections in cities as a next step.”

About Human Factors Engineering Studies at Ben-Gurion University

The Human Factors Engineering (ergonomics) division in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev trains researchers to incorporate knowhow of human capabilities and limitations with engineering techniques for improving the interface between man and his environment. The aim of the division is to instill the necessary knowhow to professionals and researchers who will be involved in research, planning, and constructing sophisticated technological systems.