Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

SMART BIKING Report Summary

Project ID: 729640

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SMART BIKING (Safe parking system for bicycles)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Problem/isuue
In recent years, population is increasing in urban environments, which is resulting in a change of mobility patterns creating new market opportunities. It is necessary to promote more sustainable forms of transport in the city, and to achieve that, administrations are promoting the use of bicycles.
The bicycle is the most efficient mode of transport in urban areas for trips under 8km of distance. For electric bicycles, distance increases above 15km. The use of bicycles as a way of transport has many benefits to society as a whole, environmental benefits, reduce sedentary, improves cardiovascular health, easy-of-use, low cost, etc. In addition, the use of bicycles is widespread throughout the world, all cultures, economic levels, age, gender...
In this sense, and according to the EU bicycle policy challenges governments have promoted different strategies to promote their use, such as bike lanes, 30 zones, traffic lights for bicycle, bike sharing systems (conventional and electrical), simple parking, among others, that are resulting in an increase of the use of private bicycle as a mode of transport in cities. However, one of the main challenges that cities and Europe are currently facing is the theft of bicycles.
This increase creates the need to manage parking on destinations. In this way, users are demanding secure parking due to the high number of bicycle thefts that occur in cities. The promotional campaigns of the bicycle tend to draw attention to the need to protect the bike properly using the anti-theft devices. However, despite these measures, the theft remains the main obstacle for the private use of the bicycle as a mode of transport. Therefore, companies are developing new parking solutions with built-in safety systems to satisfy these needs.
In this context and in order to tackle one of the main EU bicycle challenges, VADECITY creates VADEBIKE (product) and SMART BIKING (service), an innovative product and service of bicycle parking: smart, safe, easy-of-use, with high efficiency of the utilization of the space, good cost efficiency and added value for money.

Society
The bicycle sector is undergoing a high development; currently more countries around the world are starting to significantly increase bicycle usage given their multiple benefits. However, theft remains the main obstacle for the private use of the bicycle as a mode of transport, being one of the main challenges that cities are facing. In order to solve such problem, companies such as Vadecity are developing new parking solutions with built-in safety systems.
The great success of the bicycle is caused by the aggregation of several benefits, which help people to improve their standard of living. Amongst the benefits people consider important when choosing the bicycle as their means of transport we find:
1. Inexpensive. Apart from walking, it is the cheapest vehicle to buy, maintain, keep and use. Moreover, there is no need for a special permission to use it.
2. Quickness. Specially in cities. For routes under 8 kilometres it is the fastest vehicle. It avoids traffic jams and it also allows parking to not be a problem.
3. Respectful with the environment. Bicycles do not emit contaminants into the atmosphere. Additionally, less public space is occupied, helping to reduce traffic jams.
4. Silent. It is one of the most silent vehicles. This is considered a benefit as noise affects negatively to mental and physical health.
5. Attractive. Public opinion appears to be less favourable to the use of cars. In fact, 73% of the European population considers that bicycles should enjoy preferential treatment compared to the car.
6. Safety. Although bicycles seem to be prone to accidents, their risk is similar to those of cars, even in some age ranges the risk is much lower. Moreover, it is studied that the more bicycles there are in a city, the less mortal accidents there are.
7. Healthy. It helps the user to be healthy at both a physical and psychological level.
Due to the numerous benefits, the standard of living of users is improved as it is a healthy alternative to traditional transportation. Moreover, its respect for the environment also helps both users and not users to live in a less polluted atmosphere.
Smart Biking service will become a strong tool of knowledge and management in real time of the mobility in urban environments, to be managed by the Administrations in order to organise parking and mobility, and reduce thefts of bikes.

Overall objectives
The main goal of the project is to validate the product (VADEBIKE) and service (SMART BIKING) for expansion in Europe and rest of the world market, creating new opportunities. In this sense, the implementation of 150 secure bicycle spaces that VADECITY is carrying out into the city of Barcelona, will be used as a living lab for gathering and analysing data to develop a consistent and feasible business plan.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In order to validate the Smart Biking project, a complete and detailed feasibility study and business plan have been developed based in the information and knowledge acquired from the pilot running in Barcelona (www.vadebikebcn.com)

This pilot has allowed Vadecity to prove its solution in real conditions. Barcelona has been considered the pilot city and is giving very valuable information and learning about the challenges and requirements. This prototyping experienced has led to an acceleration of the activities and refinement of the service.

Under the pilot of Barcelona, the following activities were performed:

1. Development and production of a physical model of secure bicycle parking.
2. Installation of 150 secure parking lot for bicycles around the city stations - between 8 and 20 parking lot each.
3. Development and management of responsive web computer, tablet and mobile phone for user interaction with the system.
4. Information service, customer service and 24 hours Emergency.
5. Management of user fees for the use of the service.
6. Development and management of an IoT integrator for remote real-time control system.
7. Management and service communication (marketing, media, web, ...)
8. Living lab, service.

The knowledge this pilot has provided plus an in-deep worldwide market analysis, has become the data source for the redaction of a complete Business Plan

The bicycle sector is undergoing a high development; currently more countries around the world are starting to significantly increase bicycle usage given their multiple benefits. However, theft remains the main obstacle for the private use of the bicycle as a mode of transport, being one of the main challenges that cities are facing. In order to solve such problem, companies such as Vadecity are developing new parking solutions with built-in safety systems.

The project Smart Biking proposes the solution Vadebike; a secure parking, smart, simple, comfortable, with low visual impact and reduced space requirements that solves the need of parking in the city and satisfies the users’ needs. It is modular, scalable, and valid for any type of bike, with reduced parking space requirements, including the space for the parking manoeuvre. The concept of Smart Biking consists on travelling through the city by bike without having to worry about where and how to park the bike safely and correctly.

The project has represented an opportunity in the bicycle sector due to the potential of the solution. The introduction of the Smart Biking system will increase the number of users of bicycle and will allow managing and sorting the mobility in bicycle, for the benefit of citizens, cyclists, administrations, other means of transport, and companies from the world of cycling… As a result, the company has been capable of attracting new market segments through this proposed model.
Although there are several companies which also offer bicycle parking solutions, Vadecity offers a competitive and efficient solution. Their competitive advantages are mainly space requirement and security and also cost of installation, cost of maintenance and, as well as, versatility, visibility, aesthetic, accessibility, stability, comfort and planning.

This solution can be commercialized worldwide and several markets have been evaluated considering their attractiveness for parking solutions and the ease of enter to introduce Vadebike.

Therefore, the company’s proposed international expansion plan is based on two main variables: market attractiveness and ease of entry. Such variables consider the country’s market, its regulation, potential customers and the threat of competitors, amongst others.

Despite the solution is relatively new and currently being developed, with current marketing and communication efforts, companies have already shown interest and have signed Letters of Interest.

A Marketing Plan has been elaborated in order to effectively communicate and commercialize the solution, with a fast go to market.

In order to improve competitiveness and lead the market, there are several marketing and operational areas where Vadecity plans to work. The main challenges to overcome in the midterm in order to be more competitive are:

• To improve the offered service
• Cost reduction, in order to reduce incomes needed from the users
• Increase incomes from other stakeholders

These objectives will be carried out through innovation investment, with and ambitious plan designed to improving product, technological platform and service, as well as investing in communication.

Moreover, its operations plan will make the correct development of the project possible.

The number of employees is also expected to increase over the years due to the company’s expansion and growth in sales, going from 4 Full Time Employees to 11 FTEs working on the project.

In order to carry out the company’s forecasted strategy, an action plan will be implemented. Such action plan has three main steps:

1) Launch of the solution as a living lab
2) Expansion and commercialization of the product
3) International expansion covered with own funds

Despite the great potential Smart Biking has, the project requires an external funding in order to consolidate the commercialization phase and to guarantee a continuous improvement of the technology.

In Conclusion, Smart Biking has the potential to become a highly regarded resource in both national and international markets. Due to the company's marketing strategy, the establishment of an innovative and effective solution in its industry which satisfies the user’s needs, and the company's profitable revenue model, Vadecity has the potential to provide lucrative returns to potential investors.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The bicycle sector is undergoing a high development; currently more countries around the world are starting to significantly increase bicycle usage given their multiple benefits. However, theft remains the main obstacle for the private use of the bicycle as a mode of transport, being one of the main challenges that cities are facing. In order to solve such problem, companies such as Vadecity are developing new parking solutions with built-in safety systems.
The great success of the bicycle is caused by the aggregation of several benefits, which help people to improve their standard of living. Amongst the benefits people consider important when choosing the bicycle as their means of transport we find:
1. Inexpensive. Apart from walking, it is the cheapest vehicle to buy, maintain, keep and use. Moreover, there is no need for a special permission to use it.
2. Quickness. Specially in cities. For routes under 8 kilometres it is the fastest vehicle. It avoids traffic jams and it also allows parking to not be a problem.
3. Respectful with the environment. Bicycles do not emit contaminants into the atmosphere. Additionally, less public space is occupied, helping to reduce traffic jams.
4. Silent. It is one of the most silent vehicles. This is considered a benefit as noise affects negatively to mental and physical health.
5. Attractive. Public opinion appears to be less favourable to the use of cars. In fact, 73% of the European population considers that bicycles should enjoy preferential treatment compared to the car.
6. Safety. Although bicycles seem to be prone to accidents, their risk is similar to those of cars, even in some age ranges the risk is much lower. Moreover, it is studied that the more bicycles there are in a city, the less mortal accidents there are.
7. Healthy. It helps the user to be healthy at both a physical and psychological level.
Due to the numerous benefits, the standard of living of users is improved as it is a healthy alternative to traditional transportation. Moreover, its respect for the environment also helps both users and not users to live in a less polluted atmosphere.
Smart Biking service will become a strong tool of knowledge and management in real time of the mobility in urban environments, to be managed by the Administrations in order to organise parking and mobility, and reduce thefts of bikes.

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