Schiphol testing a system to automatically slow down fast e-bikes
Schiphol is going to test a system that will automatically slow down fast e-bikes approaching the airport. According to the Fietsersbond (Cycling Union), the system may also be a good idea for Amsterdam.
Testing a new braking system
Soon, tests will be carried out in and around Schiphol airport to see whether fast e-bikes (the ones that can reach 45 km/h) can be automatically slowed down when they reach close proximity with the airfield. The idea is that when the e-bikes come within a certain area, their Intelligent Speed Assistant (ISA) automatically brings them back to a speed comparable with that of a normal bike.
Currently, people using fast e-bikes must wear a helmet and they are not allowed on the cycle path due to the unsafe speed disparity they create. By automatically constraining the speeds they can reach in certain areas, they could possibly be moved to the cycle path instead of the road. Something which, if it is successful, could be applied to the city of Amsterdam.
A few months ago, the cycling infrastructure in and around the airport was digitally charted using a freight bicycle fitted with a 360-degree camera. Using special software, cycle paths and traffic signage got a spot on the map. The map, combined with GPS and the fast e-bike ISAs can be used to slow the e-bikes down automatically, but that is only one possibility that the trial could bring about.
New technological possibilities
It’s not just automatic deceleration that the test could bring about. Consideration is also being given to controlling traffic signals so that cyclists only get green traffic lights, along with handlebar vibrations to warn fast e-bike user that they are approaching a congested area.
The test is part of a much larger plan to get Schiphol Airport employees to ditch their cars and come to work by bike. At this moment in time, of the 66.000 people that work at Schiphol, only 4.000 go to work by bike.