In order to find out what conditions make a cyclist feel tense on the roads, in the WayOkay project we built a series of prototypes using pressure sensors and a GPS device. By placing the sensors in a glove, brakes levers or handlebars we could determine how hard cyclists gripped while riding their bicycles. With this information we could identify locations on a route where higher pressure was exerted, plot the locations on a map and correlate them with other factors such as altitude, gradient and speed. We used Google Maps and Google Street View to analyse this information and found some interesting repeating patterns: most of the locations that correlated with tension were wide junctions, blind corners, or non-signalized streets.
Constructing prototypes, testing them, and getting feedback from participants were all useful ways of obtaining more accurate information. Determining stress-inducing locations and comparing them with existing datasets, both objective and subjective, should be useful in devising practical solutions to address real and perceived issues of road safety.