In a first, AI-powered counter keeps count of cyclists in Bengaluru

The device counts the number of bicycles passing through the lane by analysing recorded video footage
Last Updated 03 May 2022, 22:25 IST

The city’s first AI-enabled live digital cycle counter has found that 500 cyclists use the bicycle lane on the Outer Ring Road (ORR).

The device was installed earlier this week by the Sustainable Urban Mobility Accords (SuMA) near the Doddanekkundi flyover. The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) has jointly launched it with 'Sensing Local' and residents of the area.

The device counts the number of bicycles passing through the lane by analysing recorded video footage. “The counter comes with a camera,” explained its builder and cycling buff Nihar Thakkar. “The Artificial Intelligence (AI) can distinguish cycles from other motor vehicles and pedestrians. It resets every day at 12 am. This is the first time the device has been installed in the country.”

Installing the device is a part of interventions decided after a mobility audit in Doddanekkundi under the SuMA grant. The device has been installed to collect data on cycling to aid policy making and infrastructure planning.

“During the audit, we noticed that a lot of utilitarian cyclists (maids and security guards) use the cycle lane on ORR to reach the neighbourhood. We wanted to document these numbers to feed into a network we are building for the neighbourhood,” said Sobia Rafiq, co-founder, Sensing Local. She added that the devices will be installed at two more places — Graphite India Main Road and Doddanekundi Junction or Garudachar Palya — as part of the project.

Cyclists believe that the numbers obtained from the device will help muster a case for more cycling lanes in the city.

“ORR is where a lot of violations are observed on the cycle lane with motorists entering. They also got rid of the bus lane here. Hence, with this data, we can refute the claim that cycling lanes are not used. It also encourages more cyclists to add to the tally," said Satya Sankaran, popularly known as Bicycle Mayor.

(Published 03 May 2022, 19:43 IST)

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