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Researchers are developing in Magdeburg, an Autonomous Bicycle. It is designed to help 2020, especially people in the suburbs who want to forego a car of their own.


Harald War/ University Of Magdeburg

Stefan Born White

Monday, 15.10.2018
03:47 PM

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An E-Bike along the bike path running from. In the saddle, nobody sits. It accelerates, brakes and steers itself. His goal is the next subway stop.

There it has ordered a mother via the App, from the train, she sits with her two children and three thick shopping bags. As you arrive at the bus stop, waiting for the three-wheeled Bicycle. The woman is authenticated via QR-Code Scanning, the lock on the wheel to jump, and s to at home. The mother of the pedals, and is happy due to the load via electrical support.

Cargo bike with variable attachments

This fictional application do find the scenario maybe “spinnert”, says Stephan Schmidt. And yet, the Junior Professor for Autonomous vehicles at the University of Magdeburg working in a Team of machine builders, computer scientists, logisticians, and environmental psychologists with researchers serious on a self-propelled Bike. As a cargo bike with variable attachments to the transportation of Goods or children, it could revolutionize urban mobility.

Photo gallery

Innovation from Magdeburg:
The Autonomous Bicycle from the vicinity

The technology Packed trial bike already exists. “It looks pretty weird,” says Schmidt. But the vehicle is probably the technically most complex wheel, the there are currently. So that it can determine the direction of the team has constructed a steering-angle plate and mounted for a wheel-hub drive provides.

Test drives in the city Park

Sensors measure Wheel speed and acceleration, and determine via the GPS the location. The environment of the trike monitor in the front, a stereo camera, a laser scanner and a Radar, to the side, two mono-cameras and Laser are used. In the next stage of expansion, an automated brake is planned.

Photo gallery

E-Bike News:
The Mass Motorization

The research on bike rides to try in the Magdeburg city Park on the way. “We want to gather experience of how the bike looks at his environment,” says Schmidt. A number of issues in the room: the E-Bike, for example, via a voice over a loudspeaker? How should it communicate with car drivers when the bike path crosses the road? It takes a vast direction of view?

Self-driving cars are in a traffic jam

The Vision of the project is clear: mobility in the city should not only be more practical, more environmentally friendly, but also more efficient. It is all in order-of-town locations. While you might be in the inner city with buses and trams usually well on the way, be the path from the last stop to home is often the Problem. It is too long or cumbersome, but back in the car. The Autonomous E-Bike as a link of the own car is probably not necessary.

“We want to make life better than it would be with the automated car,” says engineer Schmidt. While a two-Wheeler get faster through congested roads, standing in a Car in a traffic jam – even if it was automated.

Harder still another advantage is that it weighs, according to Schmidt, but the Interaction with public transport. “If you call an Autonomous Car, it replaces trips by public TRANSPORT.” In the car, it was just so convenient that the entire path has been laid in it. The automated Bicycle in on-call duty additional, by contrast, buses and trains.

Wheel loads up like a lawnmower

“We want to integrate,” says Schmidt. The result is that While a surface could deteriorate use of Autonomous electric cars as a replacement for trips in public TRANSPORT, the LCA, will be the opposite with the self-propelled E-Bike possible.

Also fleet operators appears to be the approach attractive. “Super exciting,” says Marco Walter, founder of Tink. The company claims to be, since 2016 is the first provider of a cargo bike-bike sharing in Europe, with stations in Norderstedt, Germany, and Konstanz.

Especially the Return of the vehicle to the customer journey was a great theme. “You can let the wheel back to the Station, I must not even have a Station, this is the future.” Benefits Walter also sees that the labour-intensive battery can be exchange by a fully automated process replaced. The automated loads of E-bike drives simply to the charging station where it is recharged by induction process: “as the inlet or suction robot today.”

In automation, the experts see a large potential for savings. However, the higher cost would have to cost of the wheels. Further application possibilities were conceivable: “For example, that the wheel will be used for an Autonomous pizza delivery service,” says Schmidt.

Head stone, gravel and Sand as challenges

But all this is not to the extent. One of the biggest challenges: A Bicycle looks at his environment differently than a car. The substrate often consists of cobble, gravel or Sand. Pedestrians occur far more often on a bike path than on the road.

“We have it harder than the car, because we have the technology, less space and the whole power demand from the E-Bike-battery powered need to be,” says Schmidt. “On the other hand we have more time to React, because the braking distance is shorter.”

Similar to the self-driving car, an automated E-Bike needs to have a detailed map of the base to the Bicycle infrastructure, structure, and tells him exactly where it may proceed along. And a roof you would have to buy the vehicle for bad-weather rides good, as well as a theft-thought-out protection.

Fleet between the University campus and the main train station in Magdeburg is planned

Everything goes according to Plan, it could go from January 2019 to the structure of a first fleet that moves initially between the University campus and the main train station in Magdeburg. “I think by the end of 2020 you will be able to safely encounter a Autonomous series Bicycle,” engineer Schmidt confident, especially as the project continues to be funded by the Federal Ministry for education and research.

The input scenario with the mother and the children would be at least slightly more spin. After the woman arrived bag and baggage at home and everything is unloaded, riding the E-Bike. The aim of the hardware store in the neighboring district. There, someone is waiting with a new charge.

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