Robotic bike parking by FietsDock

FietsDock is a company to watch in the world of bike parking innovation. They have recently launched a proof of concept of their robotic parking system in Rotterdam.

FietsDock concept

FietsDock

You may have seen different robotic parking solutions over the last 20+ years, notably Eco Cycle originating from Japan.

Eco Cycle did land in the UK with a demo in Southwark in the mid-2010s. Whilst the benefits of Eco Cycle have been widely celebrated, from the likes of the LCC and others, their robotic parking is yet to gain traction in the UK.

One of the significant differences between FietsDock and Eco Cycle is the secure and private locker space in FietsDock that allows for kit storage and different types of bikes.

FietsDock lockers

FietsDock lockers

In contrast, the Eco Cycle robot simply takes just the bike via the front wheel and stores it on an open rack and can be unsuitable for certain types of bikes.

Key features of FietsDock

  1. The FietsDock can be installed above or below the ground and store many bikes in a small footprint.
  2. E-bike charging.
  3. Self-contained lockers prevent damage and enable items such as shopping to be stored safely with the cycle.
  4. The robotic system is automated and always open, with security features including CCTV.
  5. Multiple doors allow many users to access their bikes at once.

To find out more, Stolen Ride spoke to Willem-Frederik Metzelaar, founder of FietsDock.

Modular solution

If a FietsDock needs to be removed, you reverse the building procedure: dismantle the ground level entrances (doors), take out the parking robot, fill up the hole, take out the sheet piles, done. All elements can be reused in a new FietsDock elsewhere.

Built for the growth of e-bikes

We see a growing need with e-bike users and e-scooter users to park their vehicles and charge them safely. We expect these groups to be the first active user groups.

UK growth?

We asked if Mr Metzelaar had plans for UK growth, but he mentioned that NL is the focus for now.

The Rotterdam parking allows users to park their bikes for free to collect data and gather feedback from users. The feedback so far has been very positive. The company will be able to use the information to persuade others of the solution’s benefits to allow for expansion.

Final thoughts

The UK and other countries desperately need more cycle parking and innovative, secure solutions to remove barriers to cycling. Entrepreneurs and innovative solutions in this space should be celebrated and supported.

Solutions such as Fietsdock and Eco Cycle will have higher installation costs than most traditional parking. Still, the useability, space-saving nature and other benefits should fit well into any future-looking urban hub.

What’s your favourite and upcoming cycle parking solution in the world? Share what you think is a great solution or something you would like to see in the UK with the Stolen Ride community on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.