Smart Cities

BMW envisions AI-powered electric bike lanes

©BMW

BMW has set forth its vision for the future of transport beyond driverless cars — an AI-powered bike lane for electric bikes.

If you live in a major city, you will be all too familiar with traffic. Many are switching to alternative methods, such as cycling, but many feel vulnerable.

Electric bikes are opening cycling to more people who may not be in the peak of their fitness or live in hilly areas where even long-term cyclists may struggle. These bikes are often faster than many people can pedal, but the increased speed can bring more danger to both rider and those around them.

BMW and Tongji University have released a concept they are calling Vision E3 Way which gives e-bike riders their own roads. These paths will be larger than standard bike lanes and have speed limits which adapt to various conditions.

“Our goal is to link sustainable and efficient mobility with a high quality of living in cities. We use new technologies as well as our creativity in order to create innovative approaches as the BMW Vision E³ Way“, explains Dr. Gerd Schuster, Senior Vice President Research, New Technologies and Innovations.

AI-based traffic management will make sure riders keep moving safely while an innovative cooling system powered by purified rainwater will keep everyone comfortable on hot days. Riders will not necessarily even need their own bike and could rent one on a daily or subscription basis.

Driverless cars should help to cut traffic in the coming years, but they’re likely a while off before mass adoption. Meanwhile, alternative solutions are needed to reduce the cars on the road, the pollution they create, and get cities moving faster than a snail.

“The BMW Vision E³ Way opens up a whole new dimension of mobility in overcrowded conurbations – efficient, convenient and safe. It works by simply creating space for two-wheel zero-emissions traffic,” explains Dr. Markus Seidel, Director BMW Group Technology Office China. “In China, more than a billion people will be living in cities by 2050. The country will become the global incubator for numerous mobility innovations such as the BMW Vision E 3Way,” Seidel adds, “after all, nowhere else is there such an urgent need for action.”

BMW is offering a practical and inventive solution to an issue found in many cities which could be deployed faster than waiting on driverless cars, their infrastructure, and the regulatory environment to enable them.

Hopefully, any city planners looking to invest in sustainable transport will give BMW’s concept some due consideration.

What are your thoughts on BMW’s vision for AI-powered bike lanes? Let us know in the comments.

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