Cycling Visionaries Awards – Project Details



SEEKING is looking for answers regarding electric powered bicycles and their relation to traffic safety issues. Does a cyclist need “E”? Does it motivate more people to use bicycles as a daily mode of transport? Is it as risky as riding a moped or are E-bikes creating conflicts with other cyclists?

The ongoing project described herein, funded by the Austrian Ministry of Transport, has the aim of seeking answers to these hot topics – especially for policy makers who develop roadmaps for safe integration of electric powered bicycles. At the same time, the results should lead to clear technical rules (norms) for manufacturers to design electric two-wheelers.

The SEEKING-team (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology; BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences; KFV Austrian Road Safety Board; Government of Carinthia; shows an in-depth investigation of vehicle dynamic sensing, together with subjective feedback of test riders to detect similarities and differences between conventional cycling and E-biking. Following an overview on the international status quo, measurement runs and their analyses are performed to find a set of preventative measures to make (E-)biking safer. A specific focus is the detection of curve handling, stopping and acceleration phases as well as conflict studies on course-based test rides and “real world” tests on cycling paths.

The core methodology is the vehicle dynamic measurement with Smartphones (Speed [GPS, heading]; acceleration in 3 axes; pitch, roll, yaw [Gyroscope]; front video). The test rides were carried out on fixed courses – each subject was using a bicycle and a Pedelec (Pedal Electric Cycle), followed by interviews to check their personal experiences. Data analyses and statistics will be merged to potential conflicts and their preventative measures.

A first insight into the data and the observations during the trials show that a test person became familiar with the usage of the (E-)bike after two turns in the course. 39 conflicts were detected during 18 rides with electric powered bicycles, 18 conflicts during the 12 rides with conventional bicycles. There were large vehicle specific differences, due to different vehicle sensors, engine concepts and control units. The most relevant output is that riding in a bend in combination with a breaking manoeuvre needs a moped-like handling and that the body tension, which is necessary for a safe bicycle handing, is missing on Pedelecs.

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DI Peter Saleh

Vienna, Austria

Category: Science, Research and Development

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