Recent research has confirmed what many motorcycle riders have known for years. "Lane splitting" – or riding in between lanes of traffic – obviously saves riders a lot of time, but it's also considerably safer than sitting in traffic and acting like a car, as long as it’s done within certain guidelines, and contrary to what many drivers think, it actually speeds up traffic for everyone else on the road. Riders, please pass this information on to the drivers in your lives.
With big changes likely in the global transport infrastructure, the race is on to create the missing link – the smallest, lightest man-packable form of motorized transport yet known. Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW and Nissan have all shown vehicles in this area, but none have yet hit the market. The best-of-breed is currently the Yikebike
and it announced today that it has further extended its lead, lightening its US$4,000 Carbon
model from 11.5 kg to 11.2 kg and extending its range to 15 km (9.3 miles). There's also now a choice of Yikebikes with two cheaper versions at 12.7 kg ($3,000) and 14 kg ($2000).
Toyota rocked the automotive world a few hours ago with full details of a new form of transport it will exhibit at the Geneva Motor Show which begins tomorrow. Toyota's i-ROAD
is a fully-enclosed, two-seater, three-wheeled, fully-electric, Personal Mobility Vehicle (PMV) which looks to be more a competitor for the motorcycle than anything we have seen before from the world's largest automotive manufacturer.
While modern in car satnav
systems can draw on real-time traffic congestion data and suggest alternative routes for drivers to avoid high traffic areas, Honda has taken a different approach to try and minimize the potential for traffic jams. The company has developed new technology designed to detect whether a person’s driving is likely to create traffic jams and encourage them to drive in such a way as to keep traffic flowing.
The answer to the world's growing urban traffic congestion may be as simple as promoting motorcycling to commuters. A Belgian study has found that even a slight modal shift from cars to motorcycles in traffic composition significantly reduces traffic congestion and emissions. When 10 percent of cars are replaced by motorcycles, total time losses for all vehicles decrease by 40 percent and total emissions reduce by 6 percent.