A connected journey is accessible and integrated between the bike, your home environment, the roads and your smart devices throughout the whole trip. In the second part of our interview industrial designer Louis-P. Huard talks about how connected bikes are integrated in our existing transportation ecosystem and what kind of impact they will have on the infrastructure and environment.
What gaps in the transportation ecosystem do connected bikes close? Can this be used as a first or a last mile product?
Connected bikes help close the loop by creating ecosystems that empower the whole community to contribute to the data generated by connected journeys. This data can transform our cities by allowing urban planners and city dwellers to use that information to improve urban environments. It might mean the addition of bike paths, additional bike racks or even city-specific roads to cater to new, diverse forms of transportation.
The beauty of connected systems means that connected bikes can be used both as first and last mile solutions because connectivity while riding means instantaneous notification of events along the journey, while the data collected during and after the road can be used to support clever city planning and allow us to understand transport better.
What kind of impact do connected bikes have on the environment, infrastructure and the biking industry?
Connected bikes have a positive effect on the environment by helping to reduce the carbon footprint. Obviously, bikes provide an alternative form of transport to cars and other forms of polluting transport. Even electric bikes can take advantage of the smart grid, tapping into stored energy.
Plus, the collective knowledge of rider behavior now lets us plan smarter, as well as use renewable energy and resources. With an added sense of environmental awareness, bikes can also now be built using locally sourced, sustainable materials, reducing the environmental impact even further and even creating new jobs.
Because of the open nature of connected systems, we really are all working together to learn from the data which we are collectively generating. It opens new possibilities to advance even more rapidly and allows cities to move more efficiently. This community sourced data not only allows cities to flow more effectively, but creates a safer, less-distracting transit for rider and the greater road.
Many urban planners in cities (like London and Portland) are buying data from one of the cycle-logging websites to gain insights into cyclists’ habits. How can this data be used to make cities safer for cyclists?
The data generated from connected bikes is one of the most exciting elements, because it can make our cities smarter as well as safer. Data can be used to help plan infrastructure better and help us understand transportation as a whole.
This has a hugely positive environmental and economic benefit, helping our roads to become less polluted, congested and therefore safer for all forms of traffic. This data is not only applicable to the roads and bike paths, but also supports in planning parking spaces and allowing us to plans new roads which facilitate a better flow of traffic.
Can these bikes be integrated into a bikesharing system?
Connected bikes are a highly valuable addition to the bikesharing system. In fact, connected bikes often facilitate bikesharing by providing advanced security and tracking systems, making it easier and more cost-effective for the cities to implement, because bikes are less likely to go missing.
Because bikesharing is increasing in advanced cities, the data again helps to plan future infrastructure, leaving the roads less congested and therefore safer and environmentally advanced. Plus, it is the collective nature of the connected bike which has social benefits from both an individual perspective as well as a community perspective. Even things like tracking your fitness or sharing your journey with loved ones can help us, to feel more connected.
While our current bikesharing systems are top down, the future of connected bikes opens possibilities for peer-to-peer bikesharing, where communities pool their resources to provide quicker and more relevant transport solutions and ultimately keep the rider in control of their bike and their journey. The ability to track and secure the connected bike means that just about anything is possible.
Ultimately, the connected bike has the power of facilitating the concept of connected cities and communities. Everyone now has the opportunity to use available resources more efficiently and provide valuable data that will help shape our cities and pave the way for the future city, where decisions are based on human behavior, sustainability and efficiency.
Are you ready to share your data to increase safety and pave the way for more efficient cities, roads and communities? Leave a comment.
Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.