Carlton Reid12:15pm EST
Robots. AI. Podcasts. 5G. All of these are the sort of subjects you would expect to find plugged in a long-running annual tech predictions report. Bicycles? Not so much. But in a major innovations publication issued on December 10, 200-year-old bicycling is highlighted as a technological solution to many modern urban ills.
“Growth in urban bicycle use can drive profound societal changes,” suggests Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions 2020 report. This will be achieved through “reductions in traffic and pollution, less-crowded public transit systems, and improvements in public health,” stressed the report, now in its 19th year.
The 136-page report from the global consultancy firm predicts that bicycle usage in cities will double by 2022.
Urban bike share schemes will be essential for cities of the future, and bicycling of all stripes will be boosted by “an array of diverse technological innovations,” according to Deloitte’s crystal-ball gazers. They believe predictive analytics, smartphone apps, wireless connectivity, and digital urban planning tools will get more people on bikes.
The growth in demand for e-bikes will also accelerate, said the firm, citing a Forbes story on how there already now more e-bikes sold in The Netherlands than non-electric bikes.
Innovations—and freshly-built cycling infrastructure—will make bicycling safer, faster, and even more convenient.
“This makes it a more attractive option for first-mile, last-mile, and overall travel, furthering its rising popularity,” said the firm’s U.S. report.