Cycling Innovation Comes to Dublin

02 Jul 2019

Cycling Innovation Comes to Dublin

02 Jul 2019

Warm up pitches at Google EMEA Headquarters Site Visit on Velo-City 2019 kick-off day, 25th of June

Winners of the Smart Pedal Pitch. Left to Right: Jan from Umotional, Kajetan from Nüwiel, Liberatus from Cycl

The highly informative and awe-inspiring cycling conference Velo-City 2019 was held at the Convention Centre in Dublin from Tuesday, 25 June to Friday, 30 June. The Smart Pedal Pitch Programme sought out and delivered the most innovative and market ready smart cycle tech solutions.

Cycling in cities across the world are ready to scale up and this includes Dublin. One of ENABLE’s collaborative projects with Dublin City Council, Smart Docklands, organized and hosted the event with the European Cycle Federation and Cycle Industries Europe. The goal of the Smart Pedal Pitch was to seek technology and data driven proposals that could address short term improvements in either of the following areas: better cycling data, safety, security, and/or intelligent transport systems.

The Smart Pedal Pitch Programme, part of the Velo-City 2019 conference, held a competition by various start-up companies to present their latest, innovative cycling technology. Out of 42 start-ups that applied, 10 were selected by the Smart Dublin team to pitch their latest innovations in smart cycle tech. The 10 participants included:

  • Umotional (Cyclers), a cycling app that leverages big data, AI and crowdsourcing to make riding safer and more rewarding; 
  • IXOW, who combines anti-theft devices by making bikes unusable to thieves; 
  • Boreal Bikes, a bike that digitalizes and integrates V2x and ITS to reduce human error in road accidents; 
  • CYCL, who pitched the Winglight, a handlebar mounted turn signal improving rider visibility when changing directions; 
  • Beryl, shared electric cargo bikes held at bike stations, all unlocking through the Beryl app; 
  • Geovelo, a free GPS application that guides cyclists on bike friendly roads; 
  • ClicksnLinks, virtual reality bikes that allows the rider to experience current or future cycling in the city; 
  • BiKeep, smart bike racks that enable easy and secure bike locking and e-bike charging; 
  • Cyc-lok, the first Smart and IoT individual bike locker system, booked and paid by an app 24/7; and 
  • Nüweil, e-powered cargo bike trailers.  

On the first day of the conference, all ten start-ups got the opportunity to practice their pitch at Google’s European headquarters in Dublin. This gave participants a warm-up round and a good chance to pitch their innovative ideas in front of a local and global tech audience. For the main event, held at the Convention Centre main stage, participants presented their ideas to a panel of 5 judges and three finalists were picked. The final pitch was in front of all Velo-City attendees, and was decided through both audience and judges voting. 

And, the winner? Nüwiel, a Hamburg-based start-up that has developed e-powered cargo bike trailers geared towards last mile delivery and city logistics. These sturdy and durable electric bike trailers can transport up to 200kg of cargo. Nüweil has proven to make urban transport more efficient and sustainable, and they have successfully completed delivery trials with UPS, IKEA, and Airbus. They were not only awarded a grand prize of 10,000 Euros but will also spend at least three months working with Dublin’s Smart City Project Team to pilot their solution right here in Dublin. Second place, Cyclers, received a cash price of 7,500 Euros and third place, CYCL, received a cash price of 5,000 Euros will also get to pilot their solutions with the Smart Dublin teams.

Velo-City 2019 in Dublin demonstrated how cycling as opposed to cars are better for urban cities. Cycling is better for the environment, takes up less space, and is better for our health. Conference events included thought-provoking and stimulating topics on climate change, cycling innovations, road safety, inclusion, and health. 

The upshot is that the conference was a huge success in providing a forum for cycling enthusiasts to address important roadblocks and troubleshoot problems to improve cycling in cities, and many workshops provided an optimistic and innovative set of solutions. Overall, the trend is set to improve cycling and cycling provided services across Dublin and large cities in the world. 

Velo-City 2019 provided a great platform for expert cyclers from around the world to express their concerns regarding Dublin’s cycling infrastructure and safety. The Enable Research Programme focuses on smart city IoT research especially multi modal transport that includes cycling.  Enable is interested in challenges faced by cities and actively engages in collaborative research with industry partners on smart cities and communities. 

The winners of the Smart Pedal Pitch will each bring their smart cycling innovative ideas to Dublin to pilot. 

Article by Lydia Arce

Lydia Arce is a visiting research assistant and intern at ENABLE and Smart Docklands in Dublin. She is an Intensive Psychology major at the University of California, Santa Cruz.