Blubel Tech, a group of developers and cycling enthusiasts, have created Blubel, a smart bicycle bell that helps urban cyclists navigate safely from point A to B, while crowdsourcing useful route data from the cycling community. Through the simple act of ringing Blubel, cyclists are creating a living, breathing cycling map of the city.
A campaign was launched seeking community support to raise £30,000 by July 20, 2016. The company’s mission is to make cycling easier, safer and stress-free that will enable cycling as the main mode of transport in cities across the world. Funds received will be used for tooling and manufacturing of the device with Blubel Tech’s selected suppliers and launch the Blubel mobile app.
Participant of the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre Harwell and the winner of the IBM Smart City Challenge 2015, Blubel is gathering data to empower the cycling community. Cyclists can mark potential hazards simply by ringing the bicycle bell. The smartphone app then aggregates these alerts along with other journey data to find the safest routes for cyclists. Blubel Tech plans to use collected data to work with urban planners, local authorities and other road user groups to improve cycling infrastructure.
The device functions like a sat nav. It has a simple and intuitive interface made up of 12 LED lights, as well as an audio alert, directing cyclists turn by turn. Blubel also indicates the bearing of the final destination, making cycling easy, safe and stress-free in any city around the world.
“I came up with the idea for Blubel as a result of my own cycling experiences in London. Initially, I wanted to get fit, so I started commuting by bike, and it became my favourite part of the day; it beats public transport whatever the weather! But there were also times I found it incredibly stressful – losing my bearings, getting lost or ending up on really busy roundabouts with no easy way to check the route.
I was also amazed at how collaborative the cycling community in London is; sharing tips and information on forums and communities, and even helping strangers on the road. This got me thinking about how fantastic it would be to have a navigation device that pooled this knowledge to find the safest routes for cyclists of all levels.
Cycling transforms our cities and has the capacity to reduce pollution and make people fitter and happier. I believe that the key to unlocking this potential is through making cycling easy and stress-free for everyone. Blubel aims to do just that!” ~ Sasha Afanasieva, Founder & CEO of Blubel Tech