Juggler

Electric unicycles and the law

48 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Mono said:

No idea. 

Whew!  :w00t2:  You had me going there, Mono.  You had me going.  4199d7174e.gif

But I totally understand where Roo's coming from.  You're kinda new to the yard; you see the toughest, meanest looking username on the board; you want some street cred so you come out swinging.   I respect that.  BTW could you grab that soap bar I accidentally dropped after I faceplanted due to the speed limit on my wheel?  :whistling:  I got your back.  :innocent1:

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love
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1 hour ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

In addition, one of my main reasons of frequenting this board is to poke fun at people.  I poke.  It's fun.  That is what I do.  :innocent1:  If you have a tender spot, expect me to be the first to poke it.  Now if you're a sexy, non-Canadian female well just be warned.  :whistling:  Ima poker.

Hunka! Are you getting into trouble again? Put that poker away and gto your room!   :facepalm:

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7 minutes ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

   BTW could you grab that soap bar I accidentally dropped after I faceplanted due to the speed limit on my wheel?  :whistling:

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

Don't hate the blockee, hate the cold weather and resultant shrinkage!  :innocent1:

Did I hear Shrinkage? Oh man, better warm up that thing!  Fluctuations in ambient temperature can play host to a multitude of erratic sexual disfunctions! Just ask my wife! :crying:

 

Edited by Rehab1
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14 hours ago, Juggler said:

Why would you face plant? surely the tilt back and warning sounds would just occur at a lower speed!!

 

10 hours ago, RooMiniPro said:

Instead of poking fun, why don't you explain how I'm wrong and how limiting an EUC's top speed to 18kph will in fact cause face planting or force the rider to travel at 12-14kph.

Now I believe I see the chain of reasoning: If we would restrict the RPM of the motor strictly to some maximum value (possible even turn the motor off if it spins faster), we would indeed see face plants due to the implementation of a maximum speed.

Obviously, it has to be negotiated with the law maker that implementing a max speed will not entail a physical limitation of motor speed or torque, due to safety concerns.

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An EUC should be allowed to do at least 25kph imho,
otherwise you become a traffic obstacle in urban environments,
like those cyclist going 10kph on a sight seeing tour. :rolleyes:

Also there can't be any hard motor cut out at any speed.
A good example even a politican could grab would be a bike
going down hill - once it hits a certain speed you put a little stick 
between the front wheel spokes - now what will happen then? ;9

Instead the pedals should vibrate or tilt a little to inform the rider to
slow down with an optional voice notification.

I would applaud legislation concerning the EUC lights though.
While the front light on the V5F was okayish , the red backlight
is too weak. On the KS16-B front and backlight lights are a sad joke.
After dawn you cant even see a wind broken branch on the unlit pavement 
until it is about 1.5 meter away. 

Also every EUC should have a weight sensor or other means to determine
that no rider is standing on it. If a rider jumps off for whatever
reason the EUC should not be able to go into oncoming traffic but
come to a halt very very quick. If you need more than 1.5 seconds air time
on your EUC join the circus ;)

Also the riders weight should be measured to calculate the individual
window of safe use. A 50/70/90 kg person each should trigger a 
different firmware mode setup, always depending on the motor power available.
Say a 90kg guy wants to have fun with a 350W motor, here you go
at 12kph max. :ph34r:

An EUC sold for grown ups in Europe has to have minimum pedal sizes (shoe size 11/12),
or set of switchable pedals for kids and adults. If a company doesn't comply
their product range can no longer be insured in Europe, which means
you are no longer allowed to drive around on anything other than private property.

I think any car company could come up with better wheels then what we have now,
however they have no interest in this market! worse they lobby against us in Europe.
In town I always giggle when I see teh walking dead climbing out of their 
Porsche Cayenne to buy their buns. *oh I got carried away* 

cya 

 

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Roo, have you even gotten an EUC yet? :D

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Posted (edited)

On 17.4.2017 at 0:37 AM, RooMiniPro said:
On 2.12.2016 at 10:28 AM, Slaughthammer said:

I wish you happy faceplanting with a speed restricted wheel... Or otherwise happy slow riding, because if you program 18 km/h as maximums speed in the firmware, you should not exceed 12-14 km/h as you always need headroom for balancing.

I don't think you quite understand how these things work. 

On 16.4.2017 at 9:29 PM, Juggler said:

Why would you face plant? surely the tilt back and warning sounds would just occur at a lower speed!!

Exactly this.

So, let me explain to you how I don't quite understand the dynamics of electric unicycling: Firstly, I assume that this speed limit is required by the legislator to be absolute, in a way that ensures that the wheel will never ever turn faster than with a circumferential speed of 18 kph. Now, let's assume, someone rides this speed restricted unicycle at, let's say 17,5 kph. As long as he rides at an even speed on a flat surface, everything is fine. But what happens, if he wants to brake really quickly, because ther are other traffic paticipants? He will lean back, thus thrusting his feet in front of him. In order to do this, the wheel will have to accelerate to overtake our brave rider. My testings suggest, that short term acceleration of about 4-5 kph are easily reached in such a maneuver. I think you may be able to see the problem for yourself. In this event, the speed limit will probably not lead to a faceplant, depending on how exactly the speed limit is enforced, a buttplant might also be a possible outcome, or just not sufficient braking capabillities.

Next situation: The rider again rides near the top speed, but this time hits a small bump he wasn't entirely aware of. The wheel will get momentarily stuck on the obstacle, while the rider continues to travel at the same speed. This induces some forward lean, the rider pushes the front of the pedals down, the gyros notice that and the controller delivers more power to the motor to counter this undesireable development of events... I guess you can see, where this leads now. Again, short term accelerations of several kph in such situations are not unusual, and this time, hitting the speed limit will invariably cause a faceplant.

Maybe my stated 12-14 kph is a bit on the cautious side, but such a hard speed limit (and that is how I read the text in the original post) requires to always keep a safety speed margin.

Edited by Slaughthammer
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11 minutes ago, Slaughthammer said:

Firstly, I assume that this speed limit is required by the legislator to be absolute, in a way that ensures that the wheel will never ever turn faster than with a circumferential speed of 18 kph.

This assumption doesn't make much sense, as one can easily find out when thinking about its consequences, as you did ;)

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Just now, Mono said:

This assumption doesn't make much sense, as one can easily find out when thinking about its consequences, as you did ;)

We're dealing with old, fat people making laws, right? Don't expect them to listen to reason too much, especially if there are any car lobbyists nearby... Or, as we Germans tend to handle this matter, the law making old fat bloke might be a member of the supervisery board of a reputable German car manufacturer ... :pooping:

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Posted (edited)

33 minutes ago, Slaughthammer said:

We're dealing with old, fat people making laws, right? Don't expect them to listen to reason too much, especially if there are any car lobbyists nearby... Or, as we Germans tend to handle this matter, the law making old fat bloke might be a member of the supervisery board of a reputable German car manufacturer ... :pooping:

I agree with your concern about lobbying, even though I don't think that car makers currently see much of a threat to their business from EUCs. I don't share your concern that law makers are entirely ignorant and not bound by the evidence. If they would make a law restricting RPM (and they won't, that's easy to predict), we would see the consequences (accidents), and this would lead to changes in the law. Law makers are in general smart enough to listen to considered experts when it comes to technical subtleties.

Edited by Mono
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@Slaughthammer Sad, but true:pooping:

@Mono Law makers listen to who pays them. If they're on a car maker board (no work for big $$$, and a more realistic occurence than one might think), what do you think fat people(TM) will decide in the end? It's not like we have to speculate, we just need to look at the existing evidence.

Is it a coincidence that mopeds are limited to 25 km/h here, for which there's no necessity, just making them not too cheap and useful? I think not. Lobbyists will sabotage any possible competition far in advance.

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16 minutes ago, meepmeepmayer said:

It's not like we have to speculate, we just need to look at the existing evidence.

Exactly, only that we have different interpretations of the evidence. I find the most laws sensible, in particular speed limitations for mopeds and pedelecs and EUCs. You apparently think, correct me if I am wrong, it is crazy to limit the speed of these devices and hence these laws must have been sponsored by the automobile industry.

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How can a "we pulled some random number out of our asses" law be sensible? What's the (evidence-based) justification?

It makes much more sense to interpret 25 km/h as "let's not allow anything faster than bikes", and 25 is the lowest number they could get away with (nobody would have accepted anything where one could say "even bikes can go faster").

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25km/h is pretty much the speed that I can run.  25km/h is pretty much exactly the maximal speed I am personally willing to ride with my EUC. That is probably not a coincidence. 25km/h is about the maximum speed I can sustain to ride for a longer time on a bicycle (which is, funnily enough, probably a coincidence). That makes a speed limit of 25km/h or lower an incentive to keep using bicycles. Hence, 25km/h for a speed limit is for me about as far from being a random number as it can get ;) Your mileage might vary.

I am sure it is possible to find huge amounts of quantitative evidence for the connection between speed and risk of head injury. Wouldn't we be hugely surprised to see a steep non-linear incline somewhere between 23km/h and 34km/h?

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So why are bikes allowed to go faster than 25? (Or motorbikes?) If it's such a great number...

And I hope you don't believe the bycicle incentive nonsense. Why not ban cars then? That would surely be a bycicle incentive, would it not?

Sorry but that's just a ton of non-sequiturs/justifications after the fact I'm seeing there, at least as far as public policy is concerned (nobody forces you to go faster than you want you can stay below 25 all you want).

And let's not forget all the other limitations, like the proposed 800W motor limit in PLEV, which literally means you exclude EUCs that are safe for heavier riders or at faster speeds (apparently it's not that hard to outlean a 800W V8 right from zero).

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

So why are bikes allowed to go faster than 25?

Because it is not really necessary to limit them as they don't have a non-human power source, which makes it hard to push them far beyond. Remember, there was a thread where this was discussed at length, I believe you took part in it, I don't think the answers have changed. We want to limit the negative effects of transportation on health and the environment using the means of speed limits, licensing/approval, insurance and taxing.

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(Or motorbikes?)

Because they require insurance and driver licence.

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If it's such a great number...

I would not and do not equate non-random with great. I don't suggest there is just one single magic number which should be used to regulate speed.

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And I hope you don't believe the bycicle incentive nonsense. Why not ban cars then?

Because they are practical (with similar and different use cases than EUCs) and because we have a long history with cars. But I don't worry so much, individual human driven cars will start to suffer from banning in city regions more and more in not so near but also not so far future.

Quote

That would surely be a bycicle incentive, would it not?

Yes, it would be. I don't quite see the productive point in asking all these questions, as you seem not to honestly hope to get good and accurate answers.

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(apparently it's not that hard to outlean a 800W V8 right from zero).

That's new to me, where do you have this information from? To all I know it is the ACM which is notorious for this behaviour. 

Edited by Mono
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Posted (edited)

Looks like racing bikes don't exist;) Or biking downhill.

Your arguments just seem to boil down to "because it's in the law". For example, "motorbikes require insurance". Sure, the interesting question is why. You could argue, for example, because it is easy to injure someone with a motorbike, or do expensive damage. Unlike EUCs, which in that respect are even less dangerous than bikes (which require no insurance, because apparently theres no need - nobody is complaining).

"Because that's what the law says" is not a justifification, it's the lack of one. A good question would be, what incidents actually happened that we don't want to repeat, and go from that. Of which there are barely any (I would not know one).

Are you implying EUCs are not practical? [Certainly not so much if they are crippled, which seems to be the goal.] Would limiting cars to 25 would suddenly be ok (still practical, and hey, "bicycle incentive"!)? 

Not sure where I read about the Inmotion here, but would you recommend one for steep mountains/offroad/heavier riders (instead of a KS or GW with >1000W)?

Keep in mind, the question is not "why" (where laws and "history" are explanations), but "how" it should be in the future.

Edited by meepmeepmayer
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Posted (edited)

11 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

"Because that's what the law says" is not a justifification

Sorry, it seems there was a misunderstanding of my argumentation, I never said or meant to say "because the law says so". I just find it reasonable to regulate vehicle use on public grounds with speed limits and/or licensing irrespectively of what the law says. Whether regulation is necessary is to me not even an interesting question to raise. Anyways, thanks, I will leave it at that for the time being. We just seem to have too different opinions on what can be considered non-random (and why) to entertain a time-valuable discussion.

Fun fact: Switzerland had a law to make bicycle insurance mandatory. They abandoned it about five years ago, which I believe was a good move. I don't think they will take the same road with their EUC law any time soon (though it's not impossible), which I find regrettable.

Edited by Mono
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On 20 April 2017 at 0:22 AM, Slaughthammer said:

in a way that ensures that the wheel will never ever turn faster than with a circumferential speed of 18 kph. Now, let's assume, someone rides this speed restricted unicycle at, let's say 17,5 kph. As long as he rides at an even speed on a flat surface, everything is fine. But what happens, if he wants to brake really quickly, because ther are other traffic paticipants? He will lean back, thus thrusting his feet in front of him. In order to do this, the wheel will have to accelerate to overtake our brave rider. My testings suggest, that short term acceleration of about 4-5 kph are easily reached in such a maneuver

I understand what you're trying to say, but before I evaluate your quote above, I don't understand why you insist on denying law enforced speed limits.  Either they exist in some jurisdictions  or will exist in the future, in some jurisdictions, Accept it.  If country "A" says no euc over 20 kph, that's it, it's done, accept it.  Whether one enjoys riding at 20 or 18 or 16 is completely besides the point, the law has spoken ; accept it or sell your euc.

now as for your quote, when I brake, I lean back.  When I lean back, the wheel automatically becomes infront of my center of mass; why? Because I leaned back.  The wheel maintains this new relationship as I slow down.  If I want to decelerate more rapidly, I lean back more, the wheel is automatically further infront of my center of mass, because I leaned back more, and a more rapid deceleration is  initiated in order that my extreme lean back does not result in me falling off the back. My question to you is; where does this 4-5 kph "accelerate in order to brake" come from?  I've ridden over 1200km and braked thousands of times, and I've never experienced this process you describe.  Following your logic one must also assume that  in order to accelerate, the wheel must brake first in order to get behind the rider.  Anybody experience this? I didn't think so.

now, about that theoretical max speed.  In US aviation, there is a category of aircraft known as light sport aircraft, designed as a more simple aircraft category, flown with a more simplified pilots license than general aviation.

here is the wording for maximum speed:

"Max. Speed in Level Flight (at sea level at standard temperature):138 mph / 120 knots CAS"

Notice, that this is not an absolute speed, but a speed under specific conditions.  Could a light sport aircraft travel faster than this, say, in a dive? Of course.

could it Travel faster than this not at sea level? Of course.  How about at a non- standard temperature? Why not!

my point is, governing bodies ARE capable of writing rules that take into account, the specific peculiarities of a a transportation type.  18kph does not necessarily mean an absolute 18kph.  But even if it did.  Live with it or sell up. Simples.

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, Smoother said:

I understand what you're trying to say, but before I evaluate your quote above, I don't understand why you insist on denying law enforced speed limits.  Either they exist in some jurisdictions  or will exist in the future, in some jurisdictions, Accept it.  If country "A" says no euc over 20 kph, that's it, it's done, accept it.  Whether one enjoys riding at 20 or 18 or 16 is completely besides the point, the law has spoken ; accept it or sell your euc.

I just stated, that a strict speed limit implies, that the general cruising speed needs to be significantly lower than this limit, if you want some safety. Sorry if I got a bit sentimental about my point. In general, I am not opposing speed limits, on the contrary. I think, speed limits for EUCs are a necessity if we want to see them regularly around in our cities. How the speed should be regulated, enforced and monitored is a nontrivial question.

6 hours ago, Smoother said:

when I brake, I lean back.  When I lean back, the wheel automatically becomes infront of my center of mass; why? Because I leaned back.

When you're standing on solid ground, and you want to lean back, what do you do to achive this? You put more preasure on your toes, thus you COG gets behind you standing point and you fall backwards (hopefully against a wall some inches behind you). You see, nothing happens without something else causing it. Always remember that old bloke, Sir Isaac Newton, who stated "actio = reactio" and has since not been proven wrong. So when your standing on an EUC, if you lean back, you do the same: put more presure on your toes. Thus the wheel accelerates... I actually tried this, I ride just below the beeping speed of my wheel, and when I suddenly lean back, I always hear one beep. Of course, if you decenlerate fairly gently, this effect is somewhat negligible, but I was talking about an emergency stop, and in that situation it is somewhat noticeable.

 

6 hours ago, Smoother said:

 Following your logic one must also assume that  in order to accelerate, the wheel must brake first in order to get behind the rider.

How else would you be able to get you COG in front of the wheel? For slow braking, it is possible to let the air resistance help to get you lean back, but for accelerating? I haven't actually monitored this, and I don't have the means to do so, but as far as my understandings of classic dynamics reach, it sould be exactly this way.

 

6 hours ago, Smoother said:

In US aviation, there is a category of aircraft known as light sport aircraft, [...]

"Max. Speed in Level Flight (at sea level at standard temperature):138 mph / 120 knots CAS"

Notice, that this is not an absolute speed, but a speed under specific conditions.  Could a light sport aircraft travel faster than this, say, in a dive? Of course.

could it Travel faster than this not at sea level? Of course.  How about at a non- standard temperature? Why not!

Comparing apples and oranges? Aircrafts are aircrafts, and EUCs are wheeled vehicles. So it is not surprising, that speed limits are defined differently. Furthermore, your quote doesn't state, if it is a limitation of the aircraft (i.e. the aircraft must not be able to go faster than 120 knots CAS) or a regulation of the pilots beheaviour? (by the way, 120 knots CAS does not mean 120 knots under specific conditions, but rather a speed that is equivalent to 120 knots under standard conditions, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calibrated_airspeed)

Fact is, that all wheeled vehicle specific topspeeds until now were set as hard speed limits, so the first thing a uninformed law maker would want to do is exactly this. Let's just hope that there are enough informed, sensible people around to avoid such a regulation.

However, if I was to regulate EUCs, i'd say anyone can ride any EUC in traffic, as long as it tilts back at 25 kph or lower, while a sensible margin to the devices max speed is bestowed. You may move in traffic as a bicycle would do. If you want to go faster than that, you need a drivers licence, insurance and some kind of proof that your wheel ist capable of higher speeds, tiltback speed set with a sensible margin below the devices max speed, and you will have to move in traffic as a motorcycle would do. Additionally, any EUC rider you may move among pedestrians as long as he acts considerate.

6 hours ago, Smoother said:

my point is, governing bodies ARE capable of writing rules that take into account, the specific peculiarities of a a transportation type.

While they may be able to do so, we have all seen enough cases of the opposite.

6 hours ago, Smoother said:

But even if it did.  Live with it or sell up. Simples.

Well, there's actually a third option. I can always try to influence any administration to change nonsensical regulations into more reasonable ones.

Edited by Slaughthammer
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6 hours ago, Smoother said:

Live with it or sell up. Simples.

What kind of attitude is that??? This is a guarantee for being taken advantage of. If people refuse to be confrontative if being nice does not work for their legitimate goals, what incentive is there to listen to nice people if ignoring them won't give any bad results?

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