Two Master’s Thesis on Cycling ITS

24 September 2021 - Published by CIE Communications

In the past few months two Master students have contacted the BITS project, because they were writing their Master thesis about cycling ITS. A short summary of both theses and download links are presented here.

Making Hamburg a cycling city through Smart Velomobility (Tom Kloos)

Research has shown that Smart Velomobility (SV) is usually underrepresented in ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) policy documents from the European Commission. However, little is known about the integration of SV in ITS strategies of individual cities. Additionally, the mobility transition is a frequently discussed affair in the political and scientific discourse. In Hamburg (Germany), the objectives of the ITS strategy and the mobility transition partly overlap. Therefore, the thesis of Tom Kloos investigates to what extent SV can contribute to Hamburg’s mobility transition and which SV measures should preferably be implemented in the context of Hamburg.

Results show that SV is considered in Hamburg’s ITS strategy and that it can be used as a tool to bring about the mobility transition. SV is, however, not an alternative for physical bicycle infrastructure. Additionally, the SV Index was developed for Hamburg. This index is mainly based upon the BITS Bicycle Pyramid (figure 1), for which the category gimmick has been added.

The gimmick category is added for the so-called fun-factor or gimmick factor that a particular application gives to the user. The SV index can be adapted to a local context to measure a city’s SV and determine for which SV projects a city’s budget should be allocated (see chapters 3.3. and 4.1.).

As cyclists are a heterogeneous group, also a first sketch of which SV elements different people may value more, was developed for four exemplary types of cyclists (figure 2). In this sketch, the passionate cyclists and IT programmer John, for example, values safety and reliability less than young mother Elsa. In addition, the gimmick factor is not valued highly by the pensioned cyclists Wolfgang. For him, SV measures that provide safety & reliability and comfort & experience are more important.

Figure 1    



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Check this link to read the full thesis:


Smart Cycling Innovations: Amplifying the integration of cycling in smart urban mobility systems (David Thein)

The smartification of cities is redefining space in urban environments. Traveling is no longer a simple matter of physical infrastructure, but of smart objects and smart infrastructure. Despite the growing interest of policy makers around cycling as a catalyst for sustainable urban mobility, most policies focus on cycling as an offline activity, whereas smartification potentials of cycling are often overlooked.  Against the background of the impacts of current urban mobility on our environment, pressing issues around globalization as well as the marginalization of cycling in European smart city developments, this research aimed to explore the role of smart cycling innovations in amplifying the integration of cycling as active mode in smart urban mobility systems.

The development of an updated smart cycling innovations catalogue highlighted the ITS potentials of the smart bicycle, smart cycling infrastructure and emergence of an interactive landscape between cyclists and their spatial environment. David Thein carried out a content analysis of smart cycling innovations and expert interviews, recruited in the vicinity of the European BITS project, and this resulted in the formulation of specific use cases per innovations and data types. Providing valuable information for public authorities and policymakers starting to engage with cycling as smart/connected mode in their urban mobility system.

Results of this research comprise a synthesis of literature-, interview- and content analysis highlighting the potential of smart cycling innovations in amplifying the integration of cycling into the smart urban mobility system through:

1)         demonstrating the ITS potentials of cycling;

2)         increasing the modes visibility in the physical as well as virtual environment;

3)         exploring the potential of smart cycling innovations to improve cyclists safety, comfort, speed, integration with other modes as well as efficiency of traffic flow;

4)         showing the potentials of the smart bicycle as data collection device in the urban environment; 

5)         identifying the newly emerging opportunities with regards to the interactive landscape and its potential to initiate a process of empowering communities and creating a shared meaning by fostering the narrative of citizens collectively reclaiming the public space through cycling.

Check this link to read the full thesis: