Today is the last day of the 16th edition of the EuropeanMOBILITYWeek, the flagship campaign supported by the European Community as part of its Mobility and Transport programme. ESB lists five of the most relevant benefits of the shared smart mobility and introduces a security system ready to be integrated in free-floating bike-sharing systems.
The theme of the 2017 campaign is “Clean, shared and intelligent mobility” and this year, from the 16th to the 22nd of September, around 2400 cities and local authorities are involved in the organization of public events and initiatives concerning this topic and spreading the slogan (and hashtag) “Sharing gets you further”.
In particular, the EuropeanMOBILITYWeek stimulates cities to invest on and promote permanent measures of sustainable transportation and, at the same time, encourages people to try out shared smart mobility such as bicycle and car sharing.
We have selected five of the most relevant benefits of shared mobility:
1. SAVE TIME & MONEY
A the beginning of the year, the MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) published an article claiming that the annual congestion cost is around 160 billion in the USA, including 7 billion hours of time lost to sitting in traffic and an extra 3 billion gallons of fuel burned. Adopting a ride-sharing would reduce general expenses, help city transportation and save a lot of time for each dweller. “Ride-sharing services have enormous potential for positive societal impact with respect to congestion, pollution, and energy consumption,” claimed the CSAIL’s director, Professor Daniela Rus.
2. HELP ENVIRONMENT
A lower number of circulating vehicles naturally involves a cut of CO2 emissions. This is a scientific fact. Various cities all over the world have promoted some recurring “no smog days” or pollution-free actions that restrict the use of cars in some streets or periods. These initiatives meet the governmental environmental policy requirements and, in particular, support the European Union’s goals of achieving a low-emission economy.
3. SOLVE URBAN DENSITY PROBLEMS
Shared smart mobility is a concrete possibility to solve urban density problems with advantages both for commuting citizens and for municipalities themselves. The aim is a complete interoperability of public transportation lines combined with private-sector players. Organizations and services such as special parking, carpooling, peer-to-peer clubs, ride-hailing, on-demand bus rides, and public or private bike-sharing already represent a big step towards this “global mobility ecosystem”.
What is missing now is a well-managed system that involves all the players of this shared mobility, but a start has already been made in Finland with the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) project, an integration of various form of transport services into a single mobility service accessible on demand.
4. FLEXIBILITY OF CITY COMMUTING
The interoperability and mix of transport types represent one of the main advantages for the citizens. Moreover, the latest development of mobile apps and cloud platforms dedicated to mobility allows users to plan their end-to-end journeys, book vehicles and trips in real time, and use save-timing electronic ticketing and payment services such as monthly subscription or pay-as-you-go modalities. This flexibility is the core of shared smart mobility.
5. MAKE A SOCIAL JOURNEY
This is a strong point for the EuropeanMOBILITYWeek that encourages citizens to share their own vehicles also in order to “meet new people and make the journey more sociable”. Studies show that “each shared car, for example, takes approximately 15 private cars off the road”. If the shared vehicle is then a bicycle, it is a perfect solution.
Under the MAT project, ESB has developed a smart locking system for electric bikes. The Lock and its extender cable are a security system with no keys. The vehicle rear wheel is locked manually with a very easy gesture and the system is unlocked when the user connects the smartphone to the MAT. Automatically, ESB recognizes the user profile on the App, disables the anti-theft on the smartphone, and unlocks the e-bike rear wheel.
Representing a complete and safe solution for end-users, the Lock is ready to be integrated in free-floating bike-sharing systems, from “peer-to-peer” sharing among private users to both business and governmental fleet management. The possibility for a user to park his bike and share it to other users introduces a new and dynamic concept of e-bike riding in accordance with the latest trends about share and trust economies.