Thursday, September 30, 2010

ITS makes Bicycling Safer in Japan (or not)

I have been noticing that my blog has resembled a bicycle focused one and so it felt time to get back to that theme with a perspective from a Japanese researcher from the Mazda Corporation. This gentleman works in the Chugoku prefecture which is where Hiroshima is. As an American citizen and a product of the Portland Public School system and a college educated Engineer, I have had sadly little experience with the geography of Japan. Always too busy studying math problems. But that's beside the point, which is the researchers evaluated using sensors to identify whether people on bicycles were travelling on the major street (over a bridge, down the grade) and if by detecting them, they could share this information with the driver of the vehicle through a Infrastructure to Vehicle communication. There was also a pedestrian application to the right of the bicycle picture that was something that I have interest in.
Yet, just like in the U.S. that wasn't funded. The little green line on the bottom of the shows that the ones to the right are not part of the initial effort. They are working on stop sign awareness, which to me (just like the U.S) seems like an effort that doesn't offer enough risk exposure to warrant the research AND the infrastructure is expensive becuase there is no place to get power at most of these intersections like there is at our traffic signals.
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