Friday, May 11, 2018

The road towards self driving bicycles

There are a number of good arguments for why we need self driving bicycles, and here I outline what i feel are the leading ones.

velib/borisbike/copenhagen bikes etc all suffer from 2 problems
1/ the bikes often all end up on on side of a city if it rains in the afternoon (or bottom of a hill) . and need "rebalancing" for the next day - this means picking them up in trcks and driving them around.
imagine if the bikes could self-re--balance -

A side effect of the bikes being powered and able to navigate  is that people might use them to go up hill, or use power to help when wearing nice clothes and not wishing to get sweaty. plus they wouldn't need to know their way - the bike would tell them.

2/ bikes would act as calming for cars - and this would include self-driving bikes moving back to their default constellation - would slow down all those rat running crazy petrolheads doing 30 in a 20kph zone.

3/ the self driving bikes could be used ethically to train self driving cars not to run over cyclists

4/ if we can't make self-driving bikes work, there's no hope of making delivery drones or self-driving cars ever fly.

n.b. a fairly simple prototype could be built by getting drones to sit on the handlebars and stabilize the bike, and steer along the road - the drone could be equipped with fairly simple grips to do this - i think this could be a nice undergrad group project...

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