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Optimization of Swarm Formation in Swarm Cycling

Linglong Meng; Krutarth Parwal; Stefan Schaffer
In: Workshop on Smart Urban Micromobility. Mensch und Computer (MuC-2023), September 3-6, Rapperswil, Switzerland, GI, 2023.


Cycling in groups improves safety by adopting the "safety in numbers" approach, reducing the risk of collisions with other traffic units, and enhancing the visibility of cyclists on the road, with cyclists riding as a more prominent and visible unit. Swarm cycling, a novel urban mobility concept, involves cyclists riding together in a group in a common direction or destination. The swarms are formed automatically via peer-to-peer connection when cyclists come in proximity, and the information of the swarm and individual cyclists will be synchronized within the swarm via a Nearby Mesh Network. In order to improve the existing swarm application, a pre-test with HCI experts was conducted in a low-traffic and enclosed area. The results of the pre-test round revealed that swarm formation could be optimized by adding more real-time information about the swarm to the user. Two distinct processes based on the user state (static, and dynamic) are developed for the optimization of the swarm formation, and integrated into the swarm cycling system to provide cyclists with information such as the reachability of the swarm, estimated arrival time, distance, and recommended speed to help the cyclist to approach the swarm. Online reviews from the same HCI experts confirmed the positive effect of real-time information in bridging the user’s awareness gap regarding whether the swarm is reachable and facilitating seamless swarm joining.


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