In an effort to reduce the number of deaths caused by e-bikes on the roads, the Dutch government has launched a government-funded project to shut down the engine when it enters residential or construction-intensive areas of Amsterdam,media reported. The digital technology, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Resources Management, has been successfully tested on a 4km bike path at Schiphol Airport.
The nonprofit urban research organization behind the concept is working with e-bike makers and government authorities to get the slowdown technology and new regulations rolled out by 2022.
It is reported that 65 people died riding e-bikes last year, while only 57 people died from e-bikes in 2018. The vast majority of them are men over the age of 65. Standard e-bikes can reach speeds of 12mph (20km/h), but faster models can reach 28mph.
Indranil Bhattacharya, a technology strategist at the Townmaking Institute, says they have begun discussions with manufacturers about how to make their bikes interact with digital infrastructure built by local governments.
“When we first talked to the manufacturer about the idea of cutting off the power, they said, ‘Well, we’re going to put smart on our own bikes, we don’t need infrastructure to tell us.'” But I think we help them understand that it doesn’t depend on private groups or businesses where and how fast bikes should go. In a functioning democracy, it is the responsibility of citizens and governments,” Bhattacharya said.
Discussions on the use of the technology are most advanced in the Amsterdam municipality, but interest is also said to have been expressed in the province of Guerdland and the northern Netherlands.
The technology tested in Schiphol Labs offers decision makers a range of options. “Assuming the weather is really bad, with headwinds 40km away and cyclists stopping, it would be counterintuitive to cut off the power,” Bhattacharya said. We build it so you can see where your bike is going and the decision maker can say, ‘We changed the rules. We won’t cut off your power because of the bad weather. ‘Then the smart infrastructure will tell the bike not to cut off the power. “
The infrastructure can also alert cyclists to obstacles or intersections that e-bikes are about to encounter by alerting them to the slight vibration of the car’s throes.
“It’s a bit like turning on your phone,” says Bhattacharya. When you arrive, (software) communicates with the digital infrastructure. A digital twin is aware of a collision and sends an alert. It talks directly to the bike. “
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Resources of the Netherlands has already provided 1.3 million euros for the project.