Are e-bikes the transportation of the future? – By Maddie Saines

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Bikes have been used for centuries for transportation, exercise, and recreation. Now, thanks to developments in battery technology and growing environmental concerns, sales of e-bikes are exploding.

The Roundup has estimated that 300 million e-bikes will be used around the globe by next year, with annual sales reaching 10 million by 2024 and 17 million by 2030.

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Mapbox, a platform that provides maps and location data for developers and works with such notable companies as Strava, General Motors, and Instacart, offers micro mobility solutions to help e-bike companies develop advanced navigation systems. E-bike maker Cowboy, and shared micro-mobility operator TIER Mobility, use Mapbox for their customizable navigation technology that provides turn-by-turn navigation with voice guidance, route optimization, traffic history and more.

Mapbox co-founder and principal evangelist Will White understands the capabilities and limitations of e-bikes that need to be considered when designing navigation technology for them. He pointed to two main obstacles to the adoption of e-bikes: rider safety and security from theft.

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With these obstacles in mind, Mapbox is developing improvements in the ability to track the precise location of e-bikes by using their navigation platform. Additionally, White predicts that most e-bike companies will start to include radar devices to detect obstacles ahead and vehicles approaching from behind, as well as cameras, artificial intelligence and more to improve rider safety.

White is optimistic that e-bikes will be adopted as a mainstream form of transportation and is excited for Mapbox to be on the forefront of that innovative navigation technology.

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