A Field Test for Comparison of e-Bikes and Conventional Bicycles in Traffic

During the last years, the number of electric-assist and electric-power bicycles has increased continuously. Whether this causes risks in mixed traffic with conventional bicycles or existing cycling infrastructure is appropriate for the use of e-bikes, is part of current research. To determine differences in the use of e-bikes and conventional bicycles in traffic, short-term field tests were conducted. An electric-assist bike was equipped with a measuring system, consisting of four cameras, two microphones, an acceleration sensor and a rate sensor. The position is determined by GPS. 52 subjects rode on a course through downtown Berlin twice. In one of the circuits, the motor was turned off to emulate a conventional bicycle. The subjects filled out a questionnaire. The motor assisted average speed was about 3 km/h (1.9 mph) higher than the speed without motor assistance. For fast riders, the speed difference was lower than for slow riders. Accordingly, the number of overtaking maneuvers increased by 9% through the motor assistance for fast riders, and by 113% for the slow riders. Another goal was to apply methods of naturalistic driving studies on bicycles. The used measuring equipment and method was sufficient for generating lots of usable data on cyclists’ behavior in traffic. For strong naturalistic conditions, the methodology reveals some flaws: The equipment is not protected from weather influences and theft. It is therefore usable in a field test environment, but not in everyday activities.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 94th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01555440
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 15-2419
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2015 10:03AM