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Proposal: limited maximum default speed


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I don't know if this is a problem in other countries, but at least it is in several countries in Europe...

At least in Spain, the EUC's are not illegal, but the main problem is that the maximum allowed design speed is 20-25km/h, and obviously our favourite EUC's (from Gotway, KingSong, Inmotion, Ninebot...) are sold with maximum speeds way higher than the maximum legal speed.

I thought a little bit about it and I guess it'd be a good "solution" if the manufacturer could sell the EUC's with a maximum default speed up to 25km/h (call it "max safe speed" or whatever), and it could be "unlocked" by SW or FW (just the same way like now limiting the tiltback to lower speeds, but in the opposite way). This way we would ride completely legal (except for maybe the max power), but also allowed to unlock higher speeds (of course under user's responsibility).

What do you think? Do you think it would be a good idea to be implemented in new EUC's?

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It would be a great step forward towards legality especially here in the UK. Obviously they might not be so keen in the states where folk seem to want to cruise along at 30+ mph right from the off. Would there be a minimum distance you need to ride before you can change the max speed? Obviously experienced riders in countries with more relaxed laws might not be so happy. Maybe re-sellers in each country could set the minimum distance the wheel has to travel before allowing the max speed to be changed.

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Unlocking a factory speed limit is not new to the EUC world. My InMotion V8 came with a speed setting of 25km/h and I could "unlock" it. KingSong has done this in some way for a long time as well (not sure if they still do), such that unlocking was only possible after a certain mileage.

This is not likely to change the legal issue: usually the law requires a type-inherent maximal speed that can not be changed by the user or even the service. I really wonder why this is so :whistling:

Edited by Mono
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20 minutes ago, Xoltri said:

Where's the logic?

In case your question is serious: there is a long history of refined laws to make operating trucks "with a curb weight of 3400kg and top speed of over 150km/h" a "reasonably safe thing", so to say. There are five main components of requirements to achieve todays road safety standards (which are admittedly still ridiculous low):

  • hundreds or even thousands of specifications on how a vehicle must be built and look like (starting with brakes, mirrors, airbags and so on and so forth...)
  • a type approval procedure for each vehicle newly brought to the market
  • insurance to operate the vehicle on roads
  • regular technical inspections
  • drivers license

Given that users of electric bicycles or unicycles don't feel the urge to be required to have any of these, IMHO for good reasons, it is very understandable that politicians feel the need, at the very least, to limit their top speed.

So now, why so low? Because i) lawmakers tend to be (overly) protective and conservative and ii) it is only low from the perspective of a rider who likes to go fast, not so much from the perspective of a pedestrian or an old lady cycling. These people are represented by the lawmakers too and protection of innocent bystanders (including old ladies cycling) ought to be their primary goal.

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I'm with meep on this. For us to invest in these devices, we want them to operate as "we" want, not our wannabe overseers. There's a reason we upgrade (ok, several reasons).  But I won't put 1 coin into something that won't give me more. Imho, any limiter is laughably ridiculous. My cruise speed is a comfy 30/35kph. As long as I can continue doing that, I'll just continue to be an outlaw. I'm not one to beg the authorities to "please give me some rules". In several places we already know their position. But I haven't (yet) passed by an onlooker who hasn't smiled at this crazy thing. Just my 2cents.

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4 hours ago, Inductores said:

What do you think? Do you think it would be a good idea to be implemented in new EUC's?

If you order enough quantities from their manufacturers, they will listen to you. Some vendors in Taiwan and Singapore only sell EUCs with max speed officially limited to 25 km/h for their various reasons.

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2 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

1000€ device with no maintenance costs can go 50kph for 50km, who buys all the expensive cars? And then who gives cushy side gigs and money to the politicians?!? There's a ton of money in cars from a lot of angles, from taxes and insurance and space requirements (construction!) to every car-related industry. And they ALL pay off politicians in various ways.

I believe four wheel shopping carts are so dangerous that they need to be properly taxed and insured, with all operators required to show a valid license.

The above statement is what the automobile industry has done to PEV and eBikes.

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I don't claim to be an expert on the topic of e-bike regulations, either in the USA or elsewhere  However, I know that people, in general, do an extremely poor job of policing themselves.  If you don't regulate e-bikes, they'll be on the bike paths with pedestrians and other cyclists, and the e-bikes will be hauling ass, putting everyone in danger.  The same regulation will come to EUC's as soon as there are enough of them around to get attention.  My hope is that EUC riders will be responsible when the need arises.  Pass pedestrians slowly and ride slowly in public areas where other people are affected.  Say "Pardon me" and "thank you" as much as possible because good manners buy good will.  If you get a span of open trail or road, go balls out and have a good time.  Showing off is fun and I get why people do it, but in the end it screws everyone.

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39 minutes ago, Planemo said:

We can't, and never will have it both ways - speed and no legislation.

Nobody asks for "no regulation". But the fact that they outright refuse to do any kind of reasonable legislation tells all one needs to know. A glaring disparity to fast-tracking things that are wanted by the political actors.

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To make euc's operate legally they'd likely need to change several things that multiply their costs by 2 or 3 and they would be much less exciting to ride and trade. Then there's the taxation on them.

The first step is probably going to be an import ban of some sort. 

Hopefully it'll settle around limiting their speeds to 20km/h for non-licensed use and surprise inspections by police, with a hefty fine if it does more than that. The speed should be no more than a certain number when just doing a lift and tilt test. You could get a fine in like 20 seconds this way, and the machine impounded.

But it's an effort of accepting the thing into society. 

This is just my guess. Don't read too much into it.

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5 hours ago, GaryL said:

However, I know that people, in general, do an extremely poor job of policing themselves.  If you don't regulate e-bikes, they'll be on the bike paths with pedestrians and other cyclists, and the e-bikes will be hauling ass, putting everyone in danger.

Make wearing helmets or any form of protection illegal for PEV riding then. Car drivers act like monsters because the risk is entirely born by pedestrians and bicyclists. By removing all protection then the risk is shared by both hitter and hittee.

Note how geared EUC riders lean towards "high speed, reckless and indifferent". People without protection automatically slow down and look around.

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The technology is there now to limit the speeds to whatever road you are riding on. When I use a satnav, it knows the speed limit of each road and warns me accordingly. Just have the manufacturers tie their apps to that speed information and limit speeds according to where you are riding. If it recognises you are off road, it could allow you to use any speed you like,

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it would be a good solution if oil companies would pull their hands out of politicians asses.. they just want as many people in cars as possible and dont give a shit about anything else, its only about the money.. dont give in, a max speed of 25 kph makes them useful for barely more than a toy, which is exactly what they want.. no, tell them to shove it and fight.. i have no problems whatsoever with regulation, because of course people can and will be complete idiots.. let us purchase insurance, make laws that are the same as applied to cars or bicycles sure i dont care thats totally fair IF we are granted all of the same privileges as cars or bicycles and EUCs can be used as a serious commuting vehicle, not bastardized and shamed for not brown nosing big oil and polluting the environment. i will gladly follow all of the laws and be held 100% responsible for my actions, but if you try to cripple me then i will outright break the law in defiance.. bicycles here have no speed limit on roads, and a 40 kph speed limit on paths where there are pedestrians here.. i would accept nothing less, and i will choose any method of transportation that is NOT a car simply for the fact that it is precisely the opposite of what the man wants :)

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The fact that in some places there are already laws in some places effectively making what we do illegal anyway, it defacto makes us outlaws by what we do. Does it not?

It seems the answer is in the statement.

We are, statistically, a fringe group. Laws, in this case, seem to be to get ahead of the curve and control us. What I see is that we have only 2 options: 1. Keep poking a stick at the lion, reminding it we exist, or 2. Keep riding..regardless, and whenever possible.   Just my 2 cents

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1 hour ago, Planemo said:

We can't, and never will have it both ways - speed and no legislation.

Yeah, this, why am I so relieved to see the obvious written out?

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The topic started of with a reasonable question - of speed "setting / limitation"

Now, I wonder... apart from some sympathetic / empathic statements made in several fora ...

So I am adding the following "imaginary" statements:

Regulator: "Avoid as much bodily harm as possible ... because it costs the community / public backlash / ..." > Additional safety regulations, including speed limitation.
Insurance: "Fees paid are welcome ... waiver on alimony amounts due ... " > speed led to this injury (or worse), and behind the scenes the calculation risk coverage versus benefits ...
Scientists: "Among others Newtons laws versus internal organs ..."
Creator/manufacturer: "Give the public what they want" > and pay for ... all creativity goes ...
User/EUC rider: "Freedom !" > Joy versus If only I knew.

Analogy: Let's go swim with the sharks, R: prohibited, I: add-on dangerous sport clause and premium, S: metal vs teeth vs human, C: 300 for the experience

Now apart from the correct season for wishing, I believe most of us see where this goes ... Common sense and adoption through numbers ...
So I believe @Inductores raised a valid question as feature request, aligning on risk adversity: speed setting and still include choice.

PS: I have had some judgment passed upon me in the past, vehicle capable of going way too fast - what fun and in hindsight what risk :smartass:.

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Let's go back to the original question then.

On 12/10/2019 at 4:34 PM, Inductores said:

I don't know if this is a problem in other countries, but at least it is in several countries in Europe...

At least in Spain, the EUC's are not illegal, but the main problem is that the maximum allowed design speed is 20-25km/h, and obviously our favourite EUC's (from Gotway, KingSong, Inmotion, Ninebot...) are sold with maximum speeds way higher than the maximum legal speed.

Then they are illegal.

Quote

I thought a little bit about it and I guess it'd be a good "solution" if the manufacturer could sell the EUC's with a maximum default speed up to 25km/h (call it "max safe speed" or whatever),

They already do.

My MSX was limited to 20kmh when I got it.
Same for my 16X.

Quote

and it could be "unlocked" by SW or FW (just the same way like now limiting the tiltback to lower speeds, but in the opposite way). This way we would ride completely legal (except for maybe the max power), but also allowed to unlock higher speeds (of course under user's responsibility).

What do you think? Do you think it would be a good idea to be implemented in new EUC's?

Allowed to break the law (of course under user's responsibility). :efee612b4b:
Then it would be illegal again.
I might as well carry a sword while riding (under my responsibility).

There are speed limitations on certain vehicle types and there are no speed limitations on other vehicle types.
So why is it not good enough that vehicle types with speed limitations have those speed limitations removed and instead follow the speed limits?

 

Edited by Mike Sacristan
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1 hour ago, Mike Sacristan said:

I expect pedestrians to respect me as much as they would respect a bicycle meaning I shouldn't have to excuse my existence and they should keep to their side and I keep to mine.

Are you talking about being on the road, in the bike lane or on the pavement here?

And at what speed do you pass pedestrians?

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"They" also say that "hooka's" and cigars are worse than cigarettes. (False)  I say, whatever answer you're looking for, there's a 'study' to support it.    The lie they can tell regarding euc's would be based on the fact that there are no known official studies to support it.

I am in total agreement with @mrelwood

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