Smart traffic lights, bike paths in high-rises and paying people to cycle are among the trends that stood out at the recent Velo-City 2017 conference

Bike-sharing has come a long way in the last few years, and we are moving fast into the so-called fifth generation of these systems. Soon we’ll probably see a worldwide explosion of the “dockless” bike-shares that have already taken over in Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou. The idea is that you don’t have to return the bike to a set place, but can leave it anywhere – and the city is saturated enough with these bikes that they’re always easy to find. Everything is controlled through GPS sensors in the bikes and an app in the rider’s phone. Cities from Portland to Krakow are introducing these on a small scale, but it’s the arrival of the Chinese giants that will likely change the game. Mobike launched with 1,000 bikes in Manchester on Monday, and Ofo has started a small trial with 20 bikes in Cambridge.

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