Amsterdam considers remote-controlled speed-reducing system for e-bikes

Amsterdam is considering introducing an innovative adaptive speed governance solution for e-bikes. The system is intended to remotely slow down the speed of electric bicycles as they approach the city center.

Amsterdam’s Alderwoman, Melanie Van der Horst (D66), recently inaugurated a system demonstration. The initiative specifically tackles the challenges of congested bike lanes, aiming to regulate and ensure suitable speeds among cyclists.

‘Societal change enabler’

The system is still experimental, but it would be a welcome means of making the city of Amsterdam safer again. “Technically, it is perfectly possible,” says engineer and Cycling Corridor Asset Manager Paul Timmer of the Townmaking Institute, a non-profit organization that creates mobility and safety programs. 

“This solution is not only a technological advancement but a societal change enabler, allowing faster travel in less busy areas and ensuring safety in high-traffic zones,” continues Timmer.

Alarming figures

The number of accidents involving cyclists in Amsterdam is alarming. According to figures for 2022, more than half of all traffic victims in Amsterdam were on a bicycle, and at least one in ten bicycle victims was riding an e-bike.

Municipal surveys previously showed that almost 70 percent of Amsterdam residents are concerned about their own safety in traffic, mainly because of the high speed of cars, scooters, and e-bikes.

Technically possible

“Limiting speed is not that difficult,” explains Timmer. “Most manufacturers and suppliers of motors for electric bicycles all work with similar systems. Governments can set speed limits and forward them to e-bike riders near vulnerable zones.” The bicycle, which can be traced via a GPS signal, must have a receiver.

The question is whether cities actually want to implement the system and whether users want to drive with it.

In the coming months, Amsterdam wants to consult with other European cities and with manufacturers of electric bicycles, which are now also limited to a speed of 25 kilometers per hour.


Ready to join the conversation?

You must be an active subscriber to leave a comment.

Subscribe Today

You Might Also Like