VR WheelSwap Cycle Safety
Ford unveils WheelSwap, a virtual reality tool designed to improve cycle safety by increasing empathy between motorists and cyclists.
13:47 31 May 2018
A recent study has confirmed that cycling in Britain has dramatically increased in the last couple of decades, with the total number of cyclists jumping from just 10,000 in 1996 to 39,000 in 2015. A surge in cycling on roads in the UK has lead to a greater probability of accidents between cyclists and motorists.
To improve cycle safety, car manufacturer Ford has launched WheelSwap, an app that is part of its Share The Road campaign designed to improve cycle safety by increasing empathy between motorists and cyclists as well as changing behaviour in urban traffic. The app offers users two types of three-minute footage – one from a cyclist’s perspective and the other through the eyes of a motorist.
Initial feedback on trials involving 1,200 users has been positive with 90per cent of participants saying that they would commit to behaving safely than they did before using WheelSwap. Meanwhile, 60per cent said they have actually changed their behaviour as a result of viewing the footage.
Dr David Purves, Clinical Director of the Berkshire Psychology Service, agrees that the app will help cycle safety. He said: “We are programmed to drive on autopilot and accelerate. What the WheelSwap can do is it gives motorists an opportunity to get into the mindset of a cyclist and give them that insight, and take responsibility for themselves. That way it changes their automatic processes and adds a little bit more mindfulness to their ongoing driving.”
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