13 November 2021, Singapore – The Automobile Association of Singapore (AA Singapore) has always been a strong advocate in road safety matters and introducing new initiatives to shape a holistic society for all road users. Besides raising road safety awareness with the aim of reducing road traffic fatalities and accidents, the Association is continuing with our advocacy to raise awareness on road safety and encourage safe road user behaviour.
In Singapore, between 2018 to 2020, there were a total number of 1,532 traffic accidents involving bicycles. And in 2018, out of the 501 accidents involving bicycles, 10 of such cases were fatal. In 2021, a 49-year-old woman died in a collision with a bus while cycling around a local campus; and later that month, a 14-year-old male cyclist died after an accident involving with a trailer.
With the road safety concerns arising amongst the local authorities and motoring community, AA Singapore has partnered with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and Busby to launch a 3-month campaign “Stay Safe with FIA-AA & Busby”, where road users are introduced to the pilot programme of the Busby Enhanced Safety App. The Busby Enhanced Safety App, is a smartphone app available on both Android and iOS platforms that intelligently monitors outdoor fitness activities and raises an alert if the user is unresponsive and requires immediate assistance.
Through the launch of the Busby app, the Association aims to better benefit each group of users on their daily commute. One of the such benefits include the ‘Group Safe’ function for cyclists where in the event of group activities such as cycling, Busby app could notify all users of their group if anyone gets too far from the group or has met with an incident. Similarly, for drivers, the Busby app can also be used to keep track of the safety of the drivers in case of emergency. The Busby app has an automatic start and stop feature where once the user inputs their addresses, and Busby will start and stop whenever a user is active. They do not have to press go each time they are active to reactivate the app.
Another feature of the app includes an “Incident Detection” where the Busby app automatically detects if you have a stumble, fall or crash. If the user is unresponsive, the Busby app will send out an immediate message to the user’s emergency contacts (up to 5 contacts), including the user’s real-time location. In this way, users can be better protected as medical or mechanical assistance can respond sooner. Users can also submit an in-app report of a danger zone to raise awareness of the location and reduce road injuries and save lives.
Besides having the Busby app for group activities, it is also suitable for individuals, especially solo females when conducting outdoor activities such as jogging, running or even on travels. The Busby app has a SOS feature where it discreetly calls for help if users feel threatened or unsafe at any moment. Once the voice is activated or pressed, Busby SOS will send a live tracking link of the user’s location to their emergency contacts and surrounding Busby users so help can get to them as quickly as possible. The Busby app works across multiple activities including; cycling, running, walking, hiking and more.
In addition, a Beta version is in the pipeline to include features of alerting drivers and cyclists to maintain a safe distance, and enhancing road safety for all road users. The Busby app will incorporate a RoadRadar function where OEMs, bus services or GPS operators can download RoadRadar which will automatically link them to nearby Busby vulnerable road users and pre-warn the driver if a cyclist is in a dangerous proximity. This is a world’s first, and does not require any hardware. On-going partnership conversations with global ADAS and OEMs are underway to put an additional ‘safety halo’ around all road users, increasing driver and vehicle awareness and prevent any human error or potential incident.
AA Singapore will organise a complimentary webinar to advocate on the importance of safe cycling behaviour, together with the benefits and usage of the app. Users can participate in the campaign by signing up for a 5KM Busby Virtual Challenge (Ride / Run) or a Bicycle Trail. They can also pledge with the Busby road safety app during the campaign period.
At the end of the 3-month campaign, a survey will be conducted with the users on the usability and feasibility of the app. Besides the webinar, informative tips on the importance of safe cycling will be made available through the Association’s available social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
“The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness on road safety through introducing the Busby enhanced safety app to the motoring community and save lives. We encourage road users’ feedback on the Busby app on how it can better integrate with the daily commute of road users. With the feedback gathered from the users, we will work with Busby to enhance the app features for drivers and other road users”, said Mr Bernard Tay, President of Automobile Association of Singapore.