COMODULE participated to the
international cycling conference organized from the European Cyclist
Federation. During this event, we were invited to the panel discussion about
the future of bike sharing in Europe with other stakeholders from the industry,
such as Easybike, Social Bicycles, BCycle, See.Sense and others. Furthermore,
COMODULE together with SoftWheel, Nextbike, Motivate, NABSA, and Donkey
Republic we talked during the public bike sharing session about the essential role
of connectivity in successful sharing schemes.
Together with ECF and other
parties we contributed to the creation of the first proposal for a EU Cycling
Strategy which was submitted to the European Transport Commissioner. EU Cycling
Strategy focuses on how cycling can deliver jobs and growth through a financial
and fiscal level playing field and a robust European bicycle industry. The
objective is to put cycling on an equal status to other modes of transport in
terms of policies and investments while showcasing the clear added value of the
European level in the process. This strategic document, if adopted, could
increase cycle use by 50% around Europe while reducing rates of killed and
seriously injured to half.
Main takeaways of this international conference.
- Bicycle should be treated on the same level as
every other mode of transport
already delivers 513 billion EUR of economic benefits in Europe every year and it
can bring up to 760 billion EUR by 2030, according to Bernhard Ensink,
Secretary General of the European Cyclists’ Federation
- Double EU investments in cycling projects from
EUR 1.5 billion between 2014 – 2020 to EUR 3 billion between 2021 – 2027;
- Make motorised vehicles safer for people walking
and cycling through active safety systems such as Intelligence Speed
Assistance. The EU has exclusive competence on vehicle regulation;
- Allow Member
States to introduce reduced VAT for bicycles purchases through a reform of the
What’s the role of connectivity in the EU Cycling Strategy
- As it is indicated in the policy framework for
smart public bike sharing created by ECF & PEBSS - Cities should mandate that operators ensure that their
bicycle equipment, is of sufficient quality built to withstand the rigours of
constant public use and exposure to the elements, in location, meeting rider
safety and comfortable standards.
typical acceptable time-frame would be of a physical quality / robustness to
tolerate 4-5 years of standard use. In order to achieve these targets,
connectivity both to bikes, as well as e-bikes is a must.
on-going servicing of these shared bicycles is a vital aspect of the process;
prospective operators must demonstrate a robust system for ensuring that the
bicycles are kept in working order proactively, and that any faults / damaged
can be quickly identified, removed from the “fleet”, and replaced to ensure the
committed number of bicycles.
should be able to integrate on-bike location-technologies, and eventually
on-board wireless diagnostics, to more easily identify mechanical failure, and
proactively intervene through preventive maintenance.
Innovation in Bikes and Smart Mobility Solutions (MAAS)
Three claims summarise the
session on innovation in bikes and smart mobility solutions: 1) Connectivity in
general and connected bicycles in particular will have a positive impact on
road safety and on user mobility choices; 2) the bicycle industry will overtake
the automotive industry in terms of innovations; 3) technology alone will not
solve all future cities problems.
Stefanie de Hair from the Dutch
Research Institute TNO stated that, with the advent of the connected bicycle
thanks to the power supply of electric bicycles, the bicycle will be able to
communicate to infrastructure and other vehicles leading to a ‘smoother
intervention’ between different modes of transport.
Raymond Gense from Next Urban
Mobility supported that the bicycle industry will overtake the automotive
industry in terms of innovations due to the long car product cycles of 4 to 8
years. The connected bicycle will also be able to become a full partner in
Mobility as a Service Systems and herewith improve the usability side of
mobility systems. Using the mode of transport that fits best the purpose of
your trip, will characterize future mobility choices he predicted. A full
integration would also help bike sharing systems to become profitable which is
difficult at the moment if they are operating on their own, he added.