It also has a connected dashboard that automatically downloads software updates.
Now, Erik has released the first in a two-part assessment of the current state of motorcycling and the electric future in a post-pandemic world.
Erik says our streets are getting more crowded, yet people want more space and the obvious solution is single-track vehicles … in other words, motorcycles.
Here is his assessment of our riding future.
Erik gets “close and personal”:
Let’s get personal here. I’m talking close and personal.
That is the closeness of city streets and personal freedom to travel. Because cities are getting bigger, and more packed. Yet people want freedom to move. We don’t want to be trapped and limited. We want to go where we want, when we want to.
When I look to the future, there is one compelling solution for urban/suburban transportation. Well, two actually, two wheels… two wheels in a single track with green power. Whether it’s a human pedaled bicycle, a pedal assisted electric bicycle or an electric moto, two wheels are the clear solutions for urban mobility.
On a single track two-wheeler, you basically take up the same space as you do walking. Driving a car or riding in an Uber is like walking down the street with your arms stretched wide out, taking the street for yourself.
Mass transport works to some extent, but it’s just not a pleasant experience, and it only gets you vaguely near the place you want to be. It’s also a very expensive endeavor that burdens city budgets. Sometimes these huge expensive vehicles are full and sometimes near empty. In either case they keep running from point A to B at Y o’clock despite the fact that you need to get from C to D at Z o’clock.
In Europe where streets are smaller, the support and infrastructure for two wheelers is exploding. In the US it is starting as well. In Asia, two-wheelers have always been the solution, and now the growth is in making them greener, less polluting, less noisy. Replacing the 60 million new gasoline powered two-wheelers sold annually with electric creates a huge impact on quality of life.
What is happening now?
These past months have definitely reinforced the importance of personal space and safety. Worldwide, the movement to change our habits is accelerating. Urban transportation should be a comfortable personal tool empowering us to better live our multitasking lives.
Personal urban transportation needs to incorporate communication and safety devices, so that the experience creates a connection between rider, vehicle, and the environment (city, suburbia, open outdoors).
A really well designed two-wheeler becomes one with the rider, with speed and range far beyond the rider’s ability. Those great two-wheelers make you feel like you have super-powers!
We have to blend this feeling with the needs of today and tomorrow. So quite frankly, innovation is critical – you cannot build a new future hanging onto the old ways. New urban electric vehicles must not only feel approachable but also integrate with the digital environment and technology that is part of our society.
The goal is not autonomous two wheelers. We know riders do not want to give up control – if they did they’d be on a subway reading a book. What riders do want, in fact, is more control. They want unobtrusive innovative safety devices. They want the next wave of technology integrated into their personal urban mobility vehicles.
We can imagine many other form factors coming to the market as technology, needs and regulations evolve. One can think about compact electric 3 and 4-wheelers, but must think first of the importance of single track wherever possible to minimize space use. We cannot take the engineering easy way out, but instead must push, push ourselves to innovate in the two-wheeler format. And this innovation must include a complete integration with smart cities (the famous V2V and V2X protocols to connect all infrastructure and vehicles) and further safety assistance.
Today we are at a turning point. The only question is, which way will we go?