The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

$25 Bike License in Chicago?

6 Replies

Profile photo of Daniel
zabo, December 17, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Just wait. With all of the smart car technology being slowly introduced into vehicles, my bet is that there will eventually be a mileage tax. In order for bikes to safely coexist with these vehicles, it is likely that bikes will require a device that will make them electronically visible to vehicles. If the technology can exist on a cell phone and the government allows it, there may be no issue. If it is not, expect licensing.


Profile photo of jim
jwsknk, December 18, 2013 at 8:13 am

dosent that technology to sense objects already exist on some of the higher end “smart” cars? If it would take some kind of electronis beacon on bikes that wouldnt runners and pedrestrains also need to be equiped? Or are we already when we carry around cell phones all day?


Profile photo of "Bicycle Bill"
“Bicycle Bill”, December 18, 2013 at 3:48 pm

But not everyone has a cellphone (I know, hard to believe); and of those that do not everyone has it on their person every minute of every day.  For example, since I can’t use my cellphone at work — and if I’m not going anywhere but back home after work — I generally leave it on the charger stand.  They’ll have to find some sort of RFID chip (like what they use to identify the TdF riders and their location in the peleton) and attach it to/embed it into a bicycle frame.

They’ll pitch it as being for your safety, as well as making it easier to locate a bicycle if stolen (and wasn’t that what the *original* registrations were supposed to be doing?  How’s


been working out for you?); but unfortunately it will be just one more way for someone (the gov’t? your employer? your crazy ex-girlfriend?) to keep track of your comings and goings.



Profile photo of Daniel
zabo, December 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm

BB: You are absolutely correct!

They need to keep costs down, but they also want vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles to be visible. As BB mentions, RFID technology is the answer. Vehicles will carry a RFID tag (like the GEN2 chips that are probably in your driver’s license), and there will be roadside units to distribute messages to and from vehicles and central management offices. Some models also include a simple radar-like system, but they are expensive and less reliable. Some will incorporate cell phones technology, but true intelligent vehicles without radar would not be able to sense the presence of a deer.

They are making many advances and I believe that there are cities on the west coast (Washington State) that are in the first implementations. The most advanced systems are in South Korea and Japan.

I believe that the technology is more about tax revenue than it is safety, but there will be some benefits other than accident prevention (e.g. reduction in exhaust emissions, car maintenance and performance issue reporting). There will be an enormous threat to privacy, but our cell phones are already doing most of that for us already. What scares me most about these proposed systems is the effect of hackers. Imagine a massive pileup or diversion of traffic caused by a hacker attack.


You must be logged in to reply to this topic.








Clubs, Teams & Charters

Lost and Found


Gatherings & Meetings