Cycling may be the answer to the high carbon emissions we experience from our urban transport systems. This transport mode further provides a quicker way of getting to work, and it’s the perfect remedy for weight gain.
But despite the numerous advantages of cycling, many people still prefer to use four wheels as a mode of transport due to safety concerns when it comes to cycling. The good thing is technological innovations in the biking industry are encouraging behavioral changes. And if recent statistics are anything to go by, more people are considering cycling as a viable mode of transport.
In the United States, an estimated growth of 1% in bike users is expected between 2019 and 2022. This is a 50% increase in the total bicycle users. This massive growth in such a short time is attributed to some of the biking technological innovations highlighted below.
Good lights allow cyclists to be better seen in a bad light. Cyclists no longer have to rely on regular lights as they can now buy smart lights. Such lights make it easier for other motorists to spot cyclists in bad weather, improving road users’ safety.
Intelligent bike lights such as the Knog PWR Mountain Battery Bike Light offer cyclists better lighting options making it safer for cyclists to ride at night or in winter weather.
Other benefits of smart lights include:
- One can control the light brightness according to road conditions.
- They send cyclists crash alerts.
- Send warning signals, for example, when the bike is on the move without its owner.
- Use information from the surroundings to alert the cyclist when they are in danger.
Accidents that often occur to two-wheeled riders are often fatal due to a lack of sufficient protective gear. Bikers who are involved in accidents often end up with serious head injuries that could have been prevented by wearing helmets.
According to research, wearing a helmet can reduce the like hood of a severe head injury by 70%. Today, the development of better, intelligent helmets makes it safer for aspiring and experienced bikers to ride their bikes in peace.
Many of these smart helmets have smart collision detection features and Bluetooth connected earphones that you can use to listen to safety directions from your phone. Other smart helmets such as Lumos have built-in lights that make you more visible to other motorists. Lumos also has a wireless remote used to activate the turn signals and a warning signal that alerts you when you’re slowing down.
Wearable airbags are gaining popularity due to their ability to protect cyclists in case of an accident. For instance, Hövding the wearable airbag helmet inflates in case of an accident offering eight times better protection against injury than a standard bike helmet. This airbag helmet protects a cyclist on the neck and the head, reducing the risk of head fractures and concussions.
The increased use of wireless technologies has also increased safety for cyclists. For instance, surveillance cameras usually mounted on the helmet and the rear of the bike have helped to reduce cyclist harassment on the road. Cases of physical abuse and theft are now low for bikers using body or bike mounted surveillance cameras.
For female bikers, the cameras are critical as they deter other motorists from using vulgar language, among other sexual related harassments. Surveillance cameras have also allowed bikers to share real-time data with other riders offering crucial information such as traffic situations, shortest routes, and available parking lots.
Cycling is enjoyable until you run out of energy. It’s for this reason that the emergence of e-bikes has dramatically changed the perception of cycling. E-bikes are equipped with batteries that assist in pedaling. The use of lithium-ion batteries (LIB) helps these bikes retain power for a long period.
Electric bikes offer so much more than just easy peddling. E-bikes technology offers enhanced security against theft. The bikes come with a security system that can only be unlocked through a smartphone app. The app also allows the user to track the bike remotely, giving the owner a higher chance of recovering their bike if it’s stolen.
Charging an e-bike is as easy as charging a smartphone. Unlike an electric car that requires special chargers and charging spots, an electric bike uses the standard socket. A few hours of charging the battery is all that is required.
Previously manufactured e-bikes were too pricey and unreliable. Technology has allowed the development of more affordable and reliable e-bikes. For instance, an estimated 130 million e-bikes are expected to be sold between 2020 and 2023, a 70% increase in the purchase of intelligent bikes compared to previous years.
Major companies like Uber and General Motors have taken e-bike manufacturers to a whole new level. GM, for instance, has launched a folding e-bike giving consumers more options. On the other hand, Uber started an e-bike sharing program in 2018 and six months later recorded an increase of 15% in e-bike usage on their platform. During the same period, the company recorded a decline of 10% on SUV trips. This also saw a decline in carbon emissions, helping the company contribute more to environmental conservation.
The increase in bicycle usage can no longer be ignored. City planners are now considering cycling during urban planning. If the current trend in bicycle usage continues, it’s just a matter of time before bike ownership becomes necessary, like having a smartphone. Technological growth in this industry means bicycles will continue to evolve, offering safer, faster, and more affordable options.