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Smart dock for bicycle protection in theft-prone urban areas

Swanepoel, Mardu Christof (2017-12)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Cycling, when utilised as a form of transport in an urban environment, holds valuable benefits and sustainable advantages for a wide variety of stakeholders. Various barriers exist that contribute to a low user adoption of cycling in an urban area, despite a high and growing user adoption of recreational cycling. Bicycle theft and inadequate bicycle storage facilities for on-street urban bicycle storage are amongst these barriers identified. In theft-prone urban areas, urban cyclists are hampered by the prevalence of theft when bicycles are temporarily secured during urban commuting trips. This can negatively affect an individual’s attitude towards urban cycling, and thereby increase the difficulty for regional authorities to draw from the advantages accompanying a high urban-cycling prevalence. This study proposes an on-street smart bicycle dock that is capable of adequately protecting a bicycle during an urban commuting stop-over, thereby aiding in the removal of the related barriers weighing against a higher user adoption of urban cycling. To ensure a successful and sustainable solution, three important stakeholders were considered in order to incorporate their requirements and behaviour into the solution. Bicycle thieves were interviewed and studied to understand the methods and motives involved in urban bicycle theft, active cyclists were investigated through questionnaires to understand their requirements and attitude towards a potential solution, while a local municipal and academic institution involved in the potential implementation of the solution were engaged with to understand and incorporate their needs and requirements. A conceptual solution that serves as the research model was produced by turning the relevant insights obtained from the research activities into product design specifications that served as a quantitative template to guide the development of the conceptual solution. The resulting solution was broken up into four functional areas that were developed separately but dependent on each other, after which they were combined to collectively form the final solution. The first solution area sees the development of a mechanical steel frame that secures a bicycle docked in the system, by physically locking its wheels and frame using a novel locking method. This frame protects the bicycle’s critical components against the majority of tools and methods commonly used in bicycle theft, and was found to provide better protection than existing solutions, accept against theft using a hacksaw where only 71% of the required protection was provided. The second area sees the development of a sensing system that uses force transducers situated below the bicycle, to convert any disturbance on the bicycle into a digital time-discrete signal that is processed by a signal processing algorithm developed, in order to detect any attempt of theft performed on the docked bicycle. The sensing system obtained a false-negative rate of 8%, a detection duration of 8.6 seconds, and a false-positive rate of 15%. The third area sees the development of a locking mechanism that engages and disengages the mechanical frame’s protection in 1.4 seconds, in a way that is universally accessible to different users without them requiring a physical method of access. The lock obtained a locking reliability of 96%. The fourth area sees the development and implementation of system elements that are responsible for the system’s integration and general control, including a system state machine, user interface, cloud platform, and communication capabilities with accompanying communication protocol for the various system elements. The resulting solution’s performance was measured through five tests aimed at addressing different performance areas of the solution. The overall performance of the model is determined as satisfactory, with it meeting the majority of the initial requirements and specifications defined, and thereby successfully addressing the problem statement relevant to this research.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Fietsry, as 'n vorm van vervoer in 'n stedelike gebied, hou waardevolle en volhoubare voordele vir 'n wye verskeidenheid belanghebbendes in. Daar is verskeie faktore wat kan veroorsaak dat die gebruikers-syfer van fietsryers in 'n stedelike gebied afneem, ten spyte van 'n moontlike hoë en groeiende gebruikers-syfer van ontspannings-fietsryers. Fietsdiefstal, asook onvoldoende stedelike fietsbergingsfasiliteite, is twee van hierdie faktore. In stedelike gebiede met baie gevalle van fietsdiefstal, word fietse gewoonilik geteiken wat in fietsbergingsfasiliteite gelaat word. Dit kan 'n individu se houding teenoor stedelike fietsry negatief beïnvloed, en dit ook vir plaaslike owerhede moeilik maak om die baie voordele wat stedelike fietsry bring, te kan geniet. Hierdie stel `n straat-vaste slim-fiets-bergingsfasiliteit voor, wat dit moonlik maak om ` n fiets te beveilig en dus ook poog om die negatiewe houding teenoor fietsry in stedelike areas te oorbrug. Om 'n suksesvolle en volhoubare oplossing te vind, is drie belanghebbende groepe oorweeg en hul vereistes en gedrag in gedagte gehou tydens die ontwikkeling van die oplossing. Hierdie sluit in onderhoude wat gevoer is met fietsdiewe om die metodes en motiewe wat betrokke is by stedelike fietsdiefstal te verstaan. Aktiewe fietsryers se behoeftes en houding teenoor 'n moontlike oplossing is ondersoek met vraelyste wat aan hulle gegee is, terwyl 'n plaaslike munisipaliteit en `n akademiese instansie wat betrokke sal wees by die moontlike implementering van die oplossing, se behoeftes en vereistes ook ondersoek was. Deur die relevante insigte wat verkry is vanuit die navorsingsaktiwiteite, in produkontwerpspesifikasies te verander, kon `n konseptuele oplossing gevind word wat dus as navorsingsmodel dien. Hierdie produkontwerpspesifikasies het as 'n kwantitatiewe sjabloon gedien tydens die ontwikkeling van die konseptuele oplossing. Die voorgestelde oplossing was opgedeel in vier funksionele oplossings-areas, wat afsonderlik, maar interafhanklik van mekaar ontwikkel is. Die eerste oplossings-area behels die ontwikkeling van 'n meganiese staalraam, wat 'n fiets beskerm deur sy wiele en raam fisies te sluit deur die gebruik van 'n nuut ontwikkelde sluitmetode. Hierdie raam beskerm die kritiese komponente van die fiets teen die gereedskap en metodes wat die meeste gebruik word vir fietsdiefstal, en dit is gevind dat die raam ‘n fiets beter as bestaande beveiligingsmeganismes beskerm. Wanneer `n staalsaag egter gebruik is, het die meganisme slegs 71% van die vereiste beskerming gebied. Die tweede area behels die ontwikkeling van 'n sensor-stelsel wat enige steuring wat op die fiets uitgeoefen word, in ‘n digitale, tyd-diskrete sein verander. Die sein word dan verwerk deur 'n seinverwerkingsalgoritme, wat so ontwikkel is dat dit pogings van diefstal op die fiets kan identifiseer. Die sensor-stelsel het 'n vals-negatiewe koers van 8%, 'n syn opsporings-tydperk van 8,6 sekondes, en 'n vals-positiewe koers van 15%. Die derde area behels die ontwikkeling van 'n sluitmeganisme wat die meganiese-raam se beveiliging in 1.4 sekondes kan koppel, op 'n manier wat universeel toeganklik is vir verskillende gebruikers, sonder dat hulle 'n fisiese metode van toegang benodig. Die slot het 'n sluitingsbetroubaarheid van 96%. Die vierde area behels die ontwikkeling en implementeering van stelselelemente wat verantwoordelik is vir die stelsel se integrasie en algemene beheer, insluitend 'n stelselstaatmasjien, gebruikerskoppelvlak, wolkplatform en kommunikasievermoëns, met gepaardgaande kommunikasieprotokol vir die verskillende stelselelemente. Die resulterende oplossing se prestasie is gemeet deur vyf toetse wat op verskillende areas van die oplossing gemik was. Die algehele prestasie van die model blyk bevredigend, en dit voldoen aan die meerderheid van die aanvanklike vereistes en spesifikasies, en sodoende ook aan die probleemstelling wat relevant is vir hierdie navorsing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102906
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