Did you know.. The cycling paths of the future could be floating?
BMW introduces the E3 Way: elevated cycling paths
Although electric bicycles do bring countless advantages to the worlds mobility industry, it created some logistic problems as well. More and more vehicles are fighting for the same space on todays roads. They all move at a different speed and use different amounts of space. This causes travellers to become more unpredictable and roads to become more dangerous. BMW offered an innovative solution to these problems in China: elevated cycling paths. The idea originates from the brilliant mind of Elon Musk. The Hyperloop he described in 2013 used magnets to transport people in giant, near-vacuum tubes with speeds up to 1200 kilometers per hour. Although the design of the E3 Way, as BMW’s cycling path is called, is similar to the Hyperloop, it is only built to transport people with speeds of around 25 kilometers an hour. E3 stands for the three main aspects of the bicycle highway: elevation, electrification and efficiency. BMW does not see itself as just an auto manufacturer, but rather as a mobility company. The idea of these elevated cycling paths fits perfectly in this vision and allows cycling in China to become nicer and safer again. The plan is to built the paths from modular tubes, to keep the costs as low as possible. The modular tubes are transported to the desired place, raised up in the air and clicked together. BMW wants the construction to be supported by existing infrastructure as much as possible, to even lower the costs. The tubes will have transparent roofs, so that the cyclists will be protected from the weather, but can still see where the journey is headed. There are several ways a cyclist, or a driver of any other two-wheeled electric vehicle, could enter the tubes. Either by renting a bike at the entrance of the tube, or by paying a fee per kilometer. BMW aims for customers who travel 16 kilometers or less through the tubes, with a maximum speed of 25 kilometers an hour. Shanghai is the first city where these plans will be likely to be made into reality. Plans are to built two routes of around 18 kilometers towards and from the center of the city and the major business districts. With more than 250 million electric bicycles in use in China, it is one of the leading countries on the planet. In Shanghai, more than 20 percent of all journeys are made on an e-bike. Looking at the numbers, this is not much of a surprise, since a normal journey can easily take 75 minutes longer than planned because of traffic jams. BMW’s plan is to fund with an open-source structure, so that multiple investors have the chance to contribute to this innovative plan.