Autonomous cars, digitization, sensors and new concepts for sharing means of transport under the heading “Mobility as a Service (MaaS)” clearly dominated the International Mobility Congress ITS in Hamburg earlier this month. Nevertheless, smart but somewhat hidden ideas for the booming bicycle traffic could also be found.
Bicycle app: PrioBike
A “green wave” for cyclists is the focus of the project PrioBike-HH, on which the City of Hamburg and the Technical University of Dresden are working together with other partners. The aim is to make cycling more attractive and safer in order to increase the proportion of cycling in Hamburg.
Specifically, a digital system should significantly reduce the time-consuming stopping at traffic lights. Current data on the number of bicycles could be collected either via digital data donations from cyclists or via sensors and cameras. The cyclist then receives information via the app as to the speed at which he can get over the next intersection without stopping. At the same time, the traffic light control could be aligned with the bicycle traffic – similar to what is already the case with public transport buses today, in order to enable faster travel with the green wave without interruption. In addition to the app, information steles are also being planned at the edge of the bike path so that cyclists without a smartphone can also benefit from the information.
The data generated are to be published as OpenData in the municipal data platform and thus also made available to third parties. For greater safety at intersections, the PrioBike developers also keep an eye on striking light signals. If a cyclist approaches an intersection, a clear warning light – emitted by a lamp on a traffic light post, for example – should warn drivers in the turning lane. This should drastically reduce accidents when turning right – similar to the turning assistants in trucks.
Bicycle trailer: Ducktrain
While fast and safe cycling is the focus of the Hamburg project, a young team of engineers in Aachen focuses on comfortable bicycle delivery traffic. Your electrically assisted bicycle trailer “Ducktrain“is supposed to carry the loads that are too big for a conventional cargo bike, but by no means exhaust the payload of a classic delivery van. The first Ducktrain prototype is designed precisely for the payload of a euro pallet. The four-wheel trailer is still in production attached to a bicycle with a pole and extensively tested in Aachen. But in the near future, Ducktrain should be able to use cameras and sensors to detect a bicycle ahead and – like a duckling its mother – be able to follow its mother automatically. Logisticians could do the “last mile” with Ducktrain Bridge deliveries in a climate-friendly and space-saving manner, but short-term rental for everyone – similar to bike sharing offers – is also being considered.