‘Ready? GO!’ A white flag drops and two participants in green caps start pedalling their yellow and blue OV bike (bikes obtainable for a small fee from public transport hubs). Participant nr. 4 with a red cap cycles towards the other two from the opposite direction. Cameras above the lane record everything. What will the cyclists do to avoid contact? 

Next to the temporarily closed bike lane on the TU Delft campus, researcher Yufei Yuan is taking notes. He is trying to work out how cyclists respond to one another. Will they take evasive action? Do they brake? And how to explain and predict this behaviour when it comes to the large flows of cyclists that occur on a daily basis in many crowded cities such as Utrecht or Amsterdam?

The data collected will be used to develop a traffic theory for cyclists as this groups behaviour is much more complex than that of fast traffic. How to solve common problems surrounding bike jams and traffic safety issues where slow and fast traffic meet? Empirical insights, behavioural theories, models and tools are required to support planning, design and management.

This experiment is part of ALLEGRO – a TU Delft and the AMS institute project. It was financed by the ERC Advanced grant Professor Serge Hoogendoorn received to this end. 

Published: May 2016