When a new category of vehicle is launched, both user behaviour and the likely stresses placed on it in everyday use are unknown. In the case of pedelecs these factors differ significantly from those for traditional bicycles. For this project the stresses on the bike when in use are important, which is why they were examined in a series of trials.
To this end, a pedelec was fitted with sensors in order to record the levels of stress on frame, yoke, handlebars and seat tube caused through use. A typical city course of 10.5 kilometres in length was chosen for the test journeys. At 20–22 km/h, the average speed of the journeys was around 40 % above the average speed of standard cyclists.
The second component in the project is the development of an embedded system for pedelecs that captures, automatically processes and relays relevant data via GSM/GPRS to the central maintenance diagnosis server. The system that was duly developed is compact and can be integrated into the swing arm of the rear wheel. The database on the maintenance diagnosis server enables a display to be provided online or on mobile devices. What is shown is dependent on the viewer. While users see the nearest pedelec available for use, maintenance personnel are able to identify which bikes need their attention. The internet front-end is an interactive map, on which the position and status of the pedelecs is shown.
The automatic relay of status data enables the vehicles’ periods of downtime to be considerably reduced and the maintenance personnel to optimise servicing intervals.