The research project “flexiTrike” can present is innovative final result: an e-tricycle with tilt mechanism to promote active mobility of people with an increased safety demand when cycling. This e-tricycle is designed for people who have not cycled for some time or for those who cannot use a conventional bicycle because of their physical constitution, age, special needs or other limitations. The prototype will be presented on 25 October in the “Seestadt Aspern” in Vienna.
Project Goal: Making active mobility possible
Active forms of mobility are becoming more and more important. But the hurdles for the initial switch or to start cycling again after a long break are very high. Very often people want to ride a bicycle but their considerable security concerns are holding them back. This lacking feeling of safety is often increased by the fear of unknown routes and balance problems on conventional two-wheeled bicycles. Classic tricycles solve the balance problem but they exhibit inflexible and therefore instable behaviour when cornering. Additionally, so far they did not have much appeal because of their unattractive design. These two problems were solved by the “flexiTrike” project: The tilt technology improves the handling behaviour considerably and the design is aesthetically convincing.
Solution Approach: Target group analysis and technology
The project was a joint development by the Cycle Competence members AIT Austrian Institute for Technology, VELLO designer Valentin Vodev and MCS Bikes construction engineer Paris Maderna. They were supported by the INSEQ Design Studio and the City Cycling School as part of the FFG tender “Mobility of the Future: Innovations in Personal Mobility”. To meet the mentioned challenges, a comprehensive definition of target groups including their specific demands and patterns of use for e-tricycles, routing and training was part of the “flexiTrike” project. Based on the results of the “Fit2Trike” probe an e-tricycle with tilting mechanism was designed to facilitate manoeuvrability ad increase stability in curves. An e-tricycle like this can be used for therapy or sports but in particular also as a means of transport for daily routine rides.
Routing for Inexperienced Cyclists
Additionally training methods were developed for the particular target group as part of the “flexiTrike” project. They were also applied to train the cycling ability in everyday traffic situations and overcome initial hurdles. Another important element of the overall package “safe and comfortable cycling” is a comfort-oriented routing suggesting routes to inexperienced cyclists which provide them with a high level of safety feeling and support their independence. The routing was evaluated as part of a bachelor thesis at the University of Vienna together with the target group. In minimising the experienced insecurities in unknown surroundings and when riding in traffic the right choice of route can play a significant part.
Presentation of the Prototype
The research team is presenting the family-friendly tricycle with tilt technology and comfort-oriented routing on 25 October between 5.30pm and 7pm in the “Seestadt Aspern” in Vienna at the “United in Cycling”. Registration and information available here.
Project partners with prototype: : Paris Maderna (MCS), Markus Straub (AIT), Jakob Illera (INSEQ), Valerie Wolff (Vello), Bernhard Dorfmann (City Cycling School), Valentin Vodev (Vello), Christian Rudloff (AIT), Virginia Connolly (Universität Wien)