Cycle safety in London isn’t only a concern, but also an opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop bike-safety gadgets that could potentially become big sellers.
As if cycling in a left-hand-driving country wasn’t enough of a challenge for non-British residents, London’s hostile traffic can make it that much harder. Luca Amaduzzi, who was used to riding motorbikes in Italy, found hand signals difficult when cycling in London.
“There had to be a safer way of changing lanes or turning right on a street,” he said, and that’s how his company Cycl and his product WingLights were born. WingLights are a detachable mount for handlebars that makes cyclists more visible when manoeuvring. The direction indicators can easily be removed, and clipped together on a key ring.
We expected some demand, but not that much
According to Transport for London, from 2010 to 2012 the number of daily journeys on bicycles doubled to 580,000. Unfortunately, more cyclists also means more accidents, and so far this year five people have died on the roads.
People’s consciousness about safety on two wheels increases everyday, which means they are likely to spend money on gadgets that protect them.
The first WingLights orders will be delivered at the end of June, but the demand has risen beyond expectations. “We expected some demand, but not that much,” affirms Amaduzzi. After pre-selling more than 1,000, he and his partner and developer Agostino Stilli are looking for distributors and shops that can help them expand their market.
Now that success is guaranteed, they are already thinking of a second launch: “In the long run we want to keep on developing gadgets for bikes, but this summer we will launch a non detachable version, and cheaper as well.”