Personal electric transport – the future of mega-cities
“Rider moves standing on a small device, so he seems to soar in the air or move along the horizontal escalator. Smooth running without jerks impresses others. It’s all about the flawless tuning of the gyro and electric motor system. A smartest mini robot is hidden under the hull of the device, that reads all the rider’s movements… ” – so once any science fiction writer could describe usual for us gyro boards or segways, which are becoming more popular.
The urban population is forming a new type of environmentally friendly travelling. And this is quite understandable, because electric transport and care for the environment are the main trends of life for every inhabitant of a large city. And if 10 years ago this would be an article about bicycles and bicycle paths, but progress does not stand still, and new types of vehicles are wedged into the niche between walking and driving in a motor vehicle.
To begin with, let’s define what this personal transport represents. All its types have several common features. The first is environmental friendliness: batteries are used for movement, which are recharged from the mains. The second is a low speed, 5-20 km / h. The third is open-ended, that is, a person is not protected by any frame or roof. The fourth is just personal transport, designed for one person (not including a small mass of cargo, if the payload of a gyroboard allows). Fifth – there’s no need in a license to use it, as when driving cars or motorcycles.
Ecological solution for a big city
Any new way of traveling should be checked for the possibility of using it to ensure the mobility of citizens. Any smart city tries to minimize the costs of transport infrastructure and, first of all, reduce the use of cars for intraurban trips. If this also removes some of the burden from public transport, then we get a double benefit.
Of course, do not look for in an electric personal transport panacea, but a number of variants of movement is quite possible to implement. For example, moving from the house to the transfer hub and from the transport hub to the place of work, trips inside the residential area (to the supermarket, to the market, on household issues), finally, outdoor walks through a large green area.
Of course, it would be nice to see in some metropolis a dense column of bicycles, segways and gyro boards, carrying in the morning people to their offices, but this will come a bit later. Unfortunately, sometimes the weather is not too easy for trips on open-air transport in the cold season. This should be the lot of not only the ecology fans, so the infrastructure for personal electric transport will have to work well.
Street Sharing Rules
To date, bicycle paths are the basis of a separate part of the personal transport infrastructure. In conditions of their low workload, as now, it’s too early to talk about any rules of riding on bicycle paths – they should not be parked and walked.
But if the activity of their use increases, then it will be necessary, for example, to introduce a speed limit. With an increase in the number of gyro boards and segways, there will be a need to organize trunk paths in key directions with sufficient width and lanes to ensure capacity and overtaking.
Additional solutions will be needed at intersections. But it is worth considering that this is not expenditure, but investment, because people leave personal cars, and public transport, unload the streets and reduce the number of exhausts in the air.
To create a good infrastructure for electric personal transportation, it is necessary to provide users with the convenience and safety of both the path and the starting and ending points of destination. In the center of the city, on the territory near office centers and other places of the congestion, parking storage can become a solution of the problem.
A block with cells for personal transport near offices and institutions will occupy a small parking space, in the same place a recharge for personal electric transport is arranged. So gyro boards and mono-wheels will gradually recapture the parking space for cars – and, like on the road, instead of one car in the same area will accommodate a dozen other vehicles.
Legislative regulation of the use of electric transport
Personal transport is located between the pedestrian traffic and vehicles – which means that in some cases it uses a separate infrastructure, in some cases – it is logically combined with pedestrian traffic, in some cases – with the automobile traffic.
In many European countries there are serious restrictions, and in some EU countries it is absolutely forbidden to travel on public roads and sidewalks on segways and gyro boards. Unfortunately, so far, officials do not know how to classify new vehicles. Individual electric transport, which has not yet received any status in the legislation, is actively gaining popularity and is increasingly appearing on the roads of cities.
Segways, gyro boards, monocycles, electric scooters, capable of accelerating to 25 km / h, can be a threat to both the surrounding people and the users themselves. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the issue of regulating the status of this transport as a type of vehicle as soon as possible, and to make changes in the traffic rules, taking into account the popularization of this mode of movement among the population.
Gyro board not just for the streets
The spectrum of application of gyro boards and segways is increasing every day. They find application in seemingly completely non-standard situations. However, the result of this application instantly demonstrates tremendous advantages. So, for example, gyro boards were seen in Paris during excursions.
American police and security guards use giroskutery and segway as a vehicle for patrolling the territory. Such devices are well used at stations, warehouses, airports. Many post employees use gyro boards. A large battery allows you to travel a lot and at the same time quickly to your destination. Due to their compactness, you will not get stuck in a traffic jam. This ensures prompt response and eliminates the possibility of delay or failure to provide assistance or services.
An excellent idea of application is the use in large stores, shopping centers, where employees can move and, therefore, work faster, in addition people enjoy riding. Surface in such places is good, therefore it is possible to forget about the breakage of parts of the device, in fact, most often they are due to improper operation on the street.
Use in creativity
Many people use gyro boards to stage dances or interesting productions on stage. A gyro board has an interesting control, as well as a fairly good maneuverability, which allows to put even very complex movements on small scenes. Some use gyro boards to do various tricks, jumping or doing all sorts of acrobatic sketches. The main thing is that the device is qualitative and quite powerful, with a good and strong frame inside to withstand long and intensive loads.
The development of personal electric transport gives us the opportunity to significantly change the structure of urban mobility, as well as improve the ecological situation in the city. The last mile problem is solved when traveling – an important issue in the competition between a personal car and alternative modes of transportation. The main thing is what needs to be done to ensure a qualitative leap – to make personal transport safe. And for movement, and for storage. Security is a basic human need, and especially in this case.