BMW presents urban mobility concepts for the future
Developed at the BMW Group Technology Office China in Shanghai in collaboration with the Tongji University in Shanghai, the BMW Vision E³ Way project shows a mobility concept that is designed to provide simple and effective solution while addressing the challenges faced by megacities—such as traffic congestion and air pollution. It consists of an elevated road concept for electrically powered two-wheel vehicles which links key traffic hubs in urban conurbations. The three E's stand for "elevated," "electric," and "efficient." The use of roadways that are elevated above existing roads means the project generates additional traffic capacity. The BMW Vision E³ Way is explicitly conceived for locally emission-free single-track mobility concepts only ("electric"), such as e-bikes, the BMW Motorrad Concept Link, and the recently presented BMW Motorrad X2 City—likewise developed by the "Research, New Technologies, Innovations" division. The elevated road is reportedly simple and modular in design, economical to build as a result, and provides a fast, direct link between key traffic hubs.
"The BMW Vision E³ Way opens up a whole new dimension of mobility in overcrowded conurbations—efficient, convenient, and safe. It works by simply creating space for two-wheel zero-emissions traffic," explained Dr. Markus Seidel, Director of BMW Group Technology Office China.
Ramps and sluice systems are used to connect the BMW Vision E³ Way to the regular road network, underground stations, other traffic hubs, and shopping malls. By shifting single-track mobility to its own spatial level, the BMW Vision E³ Way is designed to make daily commuting faster and safer. The fact that it is used solely by electrically powered two-wheel vehicles means that collisions with cars are eliminated. The general risk of accidents is further reduced by means of an automatic speed limit of 25 km/h. In addition, there is an elaborate system of lanes that separates filtering traffic from flowing traffic: not until travel speed has been reached do the two merge.
Those who do not already own a vehicle approved for the BMW Vision E³Way can still use the facility spontaneously via a sharing scheme that provides rental vehicles at each access point. The elevated road is largely roofed over, ensuring protection from rain and heat as well as sufficient ventilation. A cooling system with purified rainwater creates comfortable temperatures and can also be used to clean the road surface at night.
A key feature of the BMW Vision E³ Way concept is that it takes existing emission-free mobility solutions on two wheels such as e-bikes and the BMW Motorrad X2 City and places them on a new traffic level: this means that the vision can be realized quickly and without the need for additional space. Initial feasibility studies demonstrate that a concept such as the BMW Vision E³ Way can significantly reduce congestion, emissions, travel time, and risk of accidents. Traffic flow is permanently optimized by means of automated video surveillance systems and artificial intelligence as well as through the integration of smart city ecosystems. Furthermore, the modular design and free scalability make the concept essentially suitable for use in any megacity.