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Community-based cyclist navigation solution to increase safety of utility bikers

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SHOKA (Community-based cyclist navigation solution to increase safety of utility bikers)

Reporting period: 2017-07-01 to 2017-09-30

In the European Union some 8% of citizens are using bicycle the most often among transport modes, and the number of cyclist commuters is around 40 million. Facing uncomfortable traffic conditions is however a real obstacle for many people to use their bike even for minor journeys. Studies show that half of all passenger car trips made in most European cities are shorter than five kilometers and that more than half of all motorized cargo trips in EU cities could be shifted to bicycles in case of appropriate infrastructure, responsible transport management and supporting technologies will exist.
SME sized and start-up companies like Shoka Llc. can contribute to the European objectives especially by raising pioneering technologies and offer business oriented solutions built on valid user demand.
In Shoka project we will present the world’s first interactive, community-based navigation solution specifically designed for the specific needs of cyclists. The project will directly contribute to increasing the safety and efficiency of cycling in urban areas by recommending the community data based safest route for the users.
Shoka Llc. is a start-up company founded by enthusiastic bikers, entrepreneurs and technological innovators to create a revolutionary smart bicycle accessory that makes urban cycling safer. This is Shoka Bell, the ultimate city cycling tool, a disruptive, smart bicycle bell for a safer urban cycling.
We successfully involved venture capital in two rounds to finance our technology and market development activities. So long our internal team of 6 people has been working on the conceptual development, app development, user experience parts of the product, as well as runs the business side. We’re going to increase our team with research engineers and programmers to at least 12 people by 2017 to be able to implement the finalization, demonstration, scale-up and market launch of Shoka.
Our overall objective in Shoka SME Instrument innovation project is to demonstrate the community-based mapping and navigation feature in our Shoka App and prepare for the global market launch.
We executed the followings in Phase 1 project:
• Production technology assessment: We assessed our supply chain including manufacturing partner selection and used materials.
• Market study and business plan development: We prepared a comprehensive Business plan including market segment analysis, competitor assessment, sales and financial planning.
• IP assessment: We updated our IP strategy, novelty research and prepared a roadmap of international IP protection of Shoka results.
• Work and resource planning for phase 2: Based on the findings of the above mentioned tasks performed we prepared an action plan for bringing Shoka to international market launch. We listed the Work Packeges and tasks to be performed during a Phase2 SME Instrument innovation project and the resources necessary to implement the project.
Involving sustainable transportation modes, especially cycling into urban transportation systems and increasing its share against car usage is of crucial interest of the European community. As also declared by the Informal Meeting of EU Ministers in Transport on 7th October 2015, cycling as a climate friendly transportation mode has positive impact on several factors of quality of life:
• Environment
Some 40% of Europe's CO2 emissions from road transport and 70% of other pollutants are due to urban traffic. Increasing the modal share of cycling would make a significant contribution to mitigating climate change and decreasing dependency on fossil fuels.
In and around Europe’s many growing urban centres, cycling is an essential tool for congestion relief. Both for the state and for citizens, cycling is the most cost effective transport mode after walking. When production, maintenance, operation and fuel are taken into account, cycling is the most greenhouse gas efficient transport mode of all. Considering that half of all passenger car trips made in most European cities are shorter than five kilometres and that more than half of all motorized cargo trips in EU cities could be shifted to bicycles, there is significant potential to increase cycling’s mode share and to improve quality of life. Also global delivery service companies as TNT or Fed-Ex are already integrating bicycle companies into their delivery chain with success. These companies acknowledged that bicycle delivery in urban areas can be cheaper and almost as fast as motorized delivery modes .
• Health issues
Cycling benefits society. Children who cycle to school concentrate better than those who are dropped off. Employees who cycle to work claim fewer paid sick days. The health benefits of switching from car commuting to bicycle commuting amply outweigh the safety risks. Cycling also becomes safer the more cyclists there are on the road: the ‘Safety in Numbers’ principle. According to conservative estimates by the World Health Organisation, if every adult in the EU walked or cycled for an additional 15 minutes a day, more than 100 000 premature deaths linked to insufficient physical activity could be avoided annually. Through congestion easing, emissions and noise reduction, public health and infrastructure cost savings, cycling benefits even those who don’t practice it.
• Innovation and economy.
Cycling is a European success story. Bicycle innovation will boost jobs and growth and support EU industry through new technology and services.
21 million bicycles were sold in the EU in 2014, outnumbering newly registered passenger cars by more than eight million. Public bike-share systems have been implemented in more than 800 cities on four continents. EU based manufacturers of electric power assisted cycles (EPAC) technology lead the way in e-mobility, serving a rapidly growing global market of currently 35 million units a year. Cycling related manufacturing and services currently employ 650’000 people in the EU. Doubling the current mode share of cycling would raise that number to over one million.