Germany is building a 100-kilometer ‘Bicycle Autobahn’ exclusively for cyclists

Bicycle Autobahn German roadway exclusive for cyclists
Agence France-Presse
As part of an ongoing effort to make the country more eco-friendly, Germany has recently begun construction on a 100-kilometer roadway designed specifically for cyclists. Named after Germany’s world-famous superhighway, the Bicycle Autobahn will be off-limits for motor vehicles of any kind. Once it’s completed, the route will connect ten cities in Western Germany in addition to four popular universities.

A handful of European countries have generally done better than their American counterparts at transitioning from car traffic to bicycle routes. In Germany, up to 10 percent of daily commuting already takes place on bicycles — and this number would probably be higher if there were safer roadways between the country’s major cities. Within cities and neighborhoods where bicycling is popular, it has been historically difficult to ride a bicycle from one city to the next.

The first five-kilometer stretch of the Bicycle Autobahn (about 3.1 miles) has already opened for cyclists to enjoy, thanks to funding from the European Union, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and development group RVR. Developers are working to secure federal funding to finish off the Bicycle Autobahn before too much time passes, since regional governments don’t always have the necessary funding to back such expansive projects.

The proposed impact to the environment is clear, and other cities are on board with the idea. Frankfurt, Munich, London, and other major cities have all proposed their own stretches of bicycle-exclusive roadway to both preserve the environment and ease traffic pains.

When completed, the 100 kilometer (62 mile) Bicycle Autobahn will connect cities like Duisburg, Bochum, and Hamm. With a 13-foot wide bike route, overtaking lanes, overpasses, and underpasses that allow for safe bicycle passage through heavily-trafficked motor vehicle areas, the Bicycle Autobahn is safer and definitely more environmentally friendly than driving to work. Analysts estimate that the completed Bicycle Autobahn will remove as many as 50,000 cars from popular commuter roads every day. The proposed impact to the environment is clear, and other cities are on board with the idea.

Emerging Tech

Meet the MIT scientist who’s growing semi-sentient cyborg houseplants

Elowan is a cybernetic plant that can respond to its surroundings. Tethered by a few wires and silver electrodes, the plant-robot hybrid can move in response to bioelectrochemical signals that reflect the plant’s light demands.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.
Emerging Tech

High-tech dancing robot turns out to be a guy in a costume

A Russian TV audience was impressed recently by an adult-sized "robot" that could dance and talk. But when some people began pointing out that its actions were a bit odd, the truth emerged ... it was a fella in a robot suit.
Emerging Tech

MIT’s smart capsule could be used to release drugs in response to a fever

Researchers have developed a 3D-printed capsule which can monitor patients' vital signs, transmit this information to a connected device, and release drugs in response to symptoms.
Emerging Tech

‘Crop duster’ robot is helping reseed the Great Barrier Reef with coral

In a world first, an undersea robot has delivered microscopic coral larvae to the Great Barrier Reef. Meet Larvalbot: the robot "crop duster" which dispenses coral babies on troubled reefs.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.

Cities looking to get smart take a lesson from an iconic shopping mall

From Disney World to the Mall of America, public venues are becoming microcosms for smart city projects. We dove into both, to show what government officials can learn – and what you can expect from your city.