Innovation and technology are key to developing cycling as a sustainable urban mobility alternative
In April, our project partner Cycling Industries Europe organized their 2020 online Summit where over 500 EU officials and cycling industry leaders came together to discuss how cycling is a huge opportunity to transform mobility post-COVID, creating opportunities for a green EU-wide economic recovery and delivering the EU’s Green Deal goals in terms of CO2 and air pollution. Innovation and technology came back several times as having a crucial role in further developing cycling as an urban mobility solution.
Paul Lee, the Global Head of Research for the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industry at Deloitte, emphasized the importance of technology in improving the cycling experience and hence making it a better mobility alternative: “Technology, in many of its forms, is able to make cycling more used by making it safer, more attractive and faster”. This includes both the design of bicycles themselves (e.g.: Lithium Ion batteries in e-bikes), as well as using data and artificial intelligence to improve cycling infrastructure through better urban planning.
The innovation and recovery panel endorsed this, stating that putting together technology & cycling can pave the way for an improved urban mobility and infrastructure. In line with that, the panel stressed that public investment should go to services, including mobility, for them to become data sources, and infrastructure and parking for bicycles to improve safety and to allow for multimodality. This is crucial for getting more people on bikes and enabling a true shift to sustainable and active mobility as aimed with the BITS project.
Kevin Mayne, CEO of Cycling Industries Europe said: “There is no going back to “normal” if we have learned from COVID19 & understood what sustainability for the EU Green Deal means. Cycling projects have the best turn-over of any construction projects, and they create European champions, which is what a green recovery and EU Green Deal need. The industry can deliver a transformative plan for smart and inclusive growth.”