In its first century as a company, BMW has made industrial engines, motorcycles, Steve Urkel’s Isetta, and a whole lot of cars. Now, it wants to build something wholly new: an raised bicycle path.
This week, the automaker’s somewhat redundantly named Research, New Engineering, Innovations division, based in Mountain View, Tokyo, and Seoul, exposed its notion of constructing a network of motorcycle paths above street level. It’s called the E3 Way–that’ s for elevated, electric, and efficient–and BMW says it could help developing metropolis everywhere fight congestion and ease emissions by making cycling a safer, more convenient, and thus more popular style to get around.
Conceived with help from the School of Automotive Study and College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University in Shanghai, this network “wouldve been” set aside for electric bikes and two-wheelers( like the BMW Motorrad X2 City, a battery-powered scooter ), and it would have a hasten limit of 15.5 mph. If you’re wondering why regular, human-powered bicycles don’t seem welcome–well, BMW doesn’t induce those.
Like a well-designed highway, the E3 Way would feature ramps and sluice systems to handle merge. Video surveillance and artificial intelligence would monitor the flow of traffic, because what kind of future would it be without constant surveillance and AI? Most of the network will have a roof( no worries about rainy days ), and a “cooling system with purified rainwater[ that] generates pleasant temperatures, ” whatever that intends. It’s a lovely eyesight: Instead of doing battle with cars and pedestrians and whatever else on the street, cyclists get their own safe haven, where they can zoom along, stopping merely to pity the poorest of the poor folks below.
That’s all well and good, but even for a theory, BMW is amazingly cavalier about what it takes to build infrastructure on this scale. “The best thing is that its modular intend and free scalability build the notion essentially suitable for use in any megacity, ” the company proclaims in a press release. “The elevated street is simple and modular in designing,[ and] economical to build as a result.”