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Family-inspired device to alert loved ones of cycling accidents

A student has created a GPS device to alert loved ones of cycling accidents – inspired by a hit-and-run involving his girlfriend’s dad.

Daniel Velo 1
Daniel Velo, BA Product Design

Daniel Perez, 22, a Product Design student from Nottingham Trent University, says his prototype, Velo Defense, aims to decrease the time it takes an ambulance to arrive if a cyclist is involved in an accident.

Whilst out cycling alone, the father of his girlfriend sustained a serious head injury when he was hit by a car which fled the scene. He was lucky that a pedestrian passed by moments after the incident to call an ambulance, however, not all cyclists are this lucky.

“These incidents are very common. I’m aware of the risks cyclists face on the roads today. My device is aimed at those who regularly cycle alone,” said Daniel from Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire.

“Velo Defense can be that extra level of safety that cyclists need, so that if they are involved in an accident, they can get the help they need quickly.”

Daniel’s design works by measuring the orientation of the bike by using a 3-axis gyroscope. The technology is constantly monitoring the orientation of the bike to identify any sudden changes that would indicate an accident.

If an accident is detected it sends a message to the bike’s pre-set point of contact with the exact GPS location of the bike.

The allocated point of contact can then hand over this location to the emergency services, allowing them to accurately pinpoint the location of the cyclist in need of attention.

The retrofit device weighs less than 100g and fits comfortably under the saddle having minimal effect on the cyclist’s ride.

Duncan Castle, Daniels girlfriend’s dad, 52 from Essex said; “My accident was rather serious but I was fortunate that someone was passing by and saw what happened. This product being on the market could save the lives of many cyclists who cycle alone and have similar accidents.”

Daniel Velo Defense GPS
Daniel Velo's GPS device

Velo Defense will go on public display for Show, Nottingham Trent University’s art and design degree show from 1 to 9 June. Show will feature works by more than 1,300 graduating artists across 26 courses. Representing a new wave of talent – skilled and ready to shape our future creative industries.

Dr Matthew Watkins, Senior Lecturer in Product Design at Nottingham Trent University said: “Daniel has identified a significant need in the market, demonstrating an understanding of the safety of cyclists particularly in rural environments.”

“His working prototype has proved the concept and he has enjoyed positive feedback from cyclists who believe this technology could help them on the road.”

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    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2019 in the Guardian University Awards. The award was based on performance and improvement in the Guardian University Guide, retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students. NTU was also the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2017, and The Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    The university has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    It is one of the largest UK universities. With nearly 32,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. With an international student population of more than 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook.

    The university is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A total of 82% of its graduates go on to graduate entry employment or graduate entry education or training within six months of leaving. Student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 88% satisfaction score in the 2018 National Student Survey.

    NTU is also one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities, containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.

    NTU is home to world-class research, and won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

Published on 6 June 2019
  • Subject area: Art and design
  • Category: Press office; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment