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Bosch, Shimano and Gazelle want your e-bike to be able to talk to cars - but will this really make e-biking safer?

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Richard Peace's picture

Richard Peace

Richard Peace took to full-time outdoor writing/photojournalism after stints in an office and as an English teacher abroad. His cycling route guide books include the best-selling Ultimate C2C Guide and the Ultimate UK Cycle Route Planner plus Electric Bicycles. He has written for various media about many aspects of cycling


8 months 3 weeks ago

Here's an alternative proposal: if you cannot make your self-driving cars good enough to be better than humans in all circumstances then they shouldn't be allowed on the roads. We've had a century of victim blaming, cultural manipulation, and lobbying and backroom deals to design infrastructure around cars, to the enormous benefit of car manufacturers and allied corporations. We don't want to go down a path that will end up with the courts not awarding damages because a cyclist injured by a self-driving car "recklessly rode without a transponder", or cyclists being banned from certain types of roads altogether.

8 months 3 weeks ago

This will go nowhere... Where cyclists are most at risk is where they share space with motor vehicles, be that by cycling in the road, filtering through traffic or in a cycling langes painted on the road. This puts cyclists into such close proximity with vehicles that a warning system would have to constantly beep at the driver...

The system is always shown in scenarios of big crossings and other open spaces where visibility is great anyway and am accident ready to prevent is both parties just open their eyes. 

This does however have the potential to make bicycles even more expensive, and if at some point mandated by law, become a phenomenal cash cow for the bicycle manufacturing industry as well as a great new avenue for law makers to introduce surveillance technology into ebikes. 

Looking forward to that future... 


kil0ran's picture
8 months 3 weeks ago

I remember this system being first discussed in either 18/19 at MWC in Barcelona. The grid system there was used as an example. What needs to happen is for it to make driving in areas with vulnerable road users more difficult and inconvenient - as has been the technology-free case with Paris for example. Gadgets just remove driver attention and increase risk. I recently hired a car with all those bells and whistles including adaptive speed control - where it decelerates for you as the speed limit changes and the driving experience was very disconnected making it harder to maintain concentration on what was a 500 mile roundtrip.