16 Jun 2022

Ready to re-cycle

A network of shared self-driving bikes could help solve transport problems in city centres, according to new research. Users would request a ride through an app and an autonomous cycle would arrive at their location. Once the journey was over, the bike would drive itself to the next user or head to a charging point, ready for the next trip.

It’s hoped the process would help people travel in an easy and more environmentally friendly way. It could also be more efficient than other systems as the bikes could take themselves to busier areas with more demand, rather than relying on vans to transport them.

The potential of autonomous micro-mobility systems has been examined by the MIT City Science Group, with new research published about how they could work. One paper presented modelling based on the MIT Autonomous Bicycle Project, which used a vehicle which can transform into a tricycle with more stability for self-driven journeys. The study found that the autonomous system would need up to eight times fewer vehicles than other systems and could improve performance and user experience.

You can read more about the research in the Communications in Transportation Research journal.

See the MIT Autonomous Bicycle Project website