As last year, Kobla is part of the “Vintertramparna” campaign in Östersund, Sweden. 100 winter cyclist participants are given studded tires, lights and other winter equipment by the municipality, in return they use the Kobla app (ResVis in Swedish) and allow it to log their travel movements throughout the winter.
As a survey of travel habits, Kobla presents road users’ journeys anonymised. In addition, there is a clear opt-in for the user, on the submission of travel patterns. This opt-in is motivated by the end user getting concrete value in return, in exchange for their data. For the municipality, the app logs transport mode, starting point and end point, entire routes, total length and real speed along the entire route, on a map interface developed by our partner Applied Autonomy. This can, for example, be used to uncover obstacles to a steady speed on a bicycle, or which car journeys in the municipality are less than 3km and should be possible without a car.
We can highly recommend, and Östersund can confirm, that this combination of logging via the mobile phone (“human sensor”) and presentation of compiled data in a monitor, provides a depth of data that no other type of survey can match. We envision this as an exercise that municipalities should do twice a year, winter and summer. The exercise consists of engaging the city’s cyclists to help give the municipality insight into their needs by having the app log for two to three weeks in each main season, which is then compiled by us into a report full of exciting data! Get in touch if you want to find out how cyclists or pedestrians move in your city.