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BMW concept road teases a brilliant future for e-bikes

BMW and Tongji University in Shanghai have dreamed up a concept road that showcases a safer, cleaner future for navigating cities on e-bikes.

Dubbed the Vision E3 Way – the three ‘Es’ standing for elevated, electric and efficient – the concept basically gives e-bike riders their own road. It sits above traditional highways, thereby avoiding the need for people on two wheels to compete with those on four.

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Tech such as an AI-controlled traffic management system and rain water-based cooling would tackle the efficiency aspect of the concept. The idea being that smart tech will help ease the flow of e-bikes through congested cities and thereby encourage people to use the more eco-friendly mode of transport.

An automatic speed limit would be in place, with the goal of reducing the chances of an accident while also ensuring the flow of e-bikes continues through the city.

The Vision E3 Way is modular in its design, which BMW notes would make it more easily integrated into the urban sprawl of megacities, scaling from one road to a network of elevated e-bike lanes.

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While this concept may paint a paradise for e-bike riders, like all concepts there will be significant challenges to make it a reality.

Major city infrastructures are often bottlenecked by traditional layouts. Take London, for example, which is a major global city trying to fit millions of people, cars and other means of transport onto road networks previously designed for horses and carts.

Nevertheless, BMW’s concept is an attractive one, and in countries where e-bikes are used heavily – China, for example – the concept may prove more attractive and could see ambitious urban planners try to make it a reality.

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