Smart bike light venture wins UCD start up prize

Kogii lets drivers know cyclists are braking and warns them when they get too close to bikes

Kogii’s light behaves like a car brake light to assist drivers to understand a cyclist’s intentions. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Kogii’s light behaves like a car brake light to assist drivers to understand a cyclist’s intentions. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

A smart bike light that uses motion sensing to detect braking and which can flash to alert drivers if they’re too close has won a €3,000 prize from University College Dublin (UCD).

Kogii, an early stage UCD student venture, won the 2018 UCD start-up stars programme and now plans to focus on refining the prototype and raising further funds.

The company makes a light attached to a cyclist’s seatpost, which behaves like a car brake light to assist drivers in understanding a cyclist’s intentions. The brightness of the light also changes to maximise the visibility of the cyclist.

Kogii also has proximity sensors which actively monitor surrounding vehicles. When vehicles come within a set range, deemed dangerous, the light flashes to alert drivers of a potential danger.

Data gathered from the sensors will allow the company to develop visualisation maps to highlight dangerous cycling zones and to improve awareness of these areas for cyclists and drivers.

Untapped data

Karl Roe, a doctoral researcher and a member of the Kogii team, said: “It is our intention to supply this new, untapped data to governments, councils and city planners to assist them in building a safer cycling infrastructure for tomorrow.”

Also on the Kogii team are Andrea Pignanelli, a software engineer, and Callan Eldon, an electronic engineer.

According to Mr Pignanelli, Kogii is planning to begin a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter over the coming months.

The UCD programme, now in its fourth year, supports students in the university who want to develop and grow start up companies. The programme’s five runners-up this year all received a cash prize of €500 each.

A total of 23 early stage ventures and 60 students have completed with programme over the past four years.

Runners-up in the programme this year included a team trying to develop new noodles made from potatoes, and a company developing fashionable scarfs incorporating a carbon filter to prevent cyclists inhaling vehicle pollutants.