School of Architecture and Civil Engineering

PLUG-IN - Modeling of pedelec traffic based on traffic behavior surveys and user-generated GPS trajectories

General Description

Electric bicycle traffic is experiencing rapid growth. Although this increases the attractiveness of cycling for different user groups, trip purposes or topographically challenging areas, macroscopic transport modeling does not yet distinguish between pedelecs and conventional bicycles. This reduces the prognosis capability of existing models and lacks planning tools that are suitable to deal with pedelecspecific issues.

The goal of PLUG-IN is to develop and test approaches for mode and route selection of bicycle traffic that enable modeling of bicycle traffic differentiated by propulsion type. Data from MiD and GPS trajectories, among others, will be used for this purpose.

It is expected that the differentiated modeling of bicycle traffic will increase the model quality and allow to answer pedelec-specific questions. This will demonstrate the feasibility and usefulness of this modeling approach. The results of this project will contribute to a more targeted cycling planning and promotion and thus to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, an improvement of health as well as the design of livable cities.

Project implementation

  • Establish and estimate a mode choice model differentiating between electric and non-electric cycling based on survey data (MiD, data package B3), linked to external data sets (e.g., gradients, guideway shapes, land uses).
  • Establish and estimate mode-differentiated route choice models for bicycle traffic using GPS trajectories, also linked to external data sets.
  • Implementation of the mode and route choice model into existing models of pilot municipalities.
  • Application of the models to pedelec-specific questions:
  1. What is the impact of pedelec availability on greenhouse gas emissions?
  2. What is the impact of pedelec share on the benefits of specific cycling infrastructure, such as cycle tracks?
  3. Is the promotion of pedelecs an appropriate transport planning tool to improve the accessibility of areas that are difficult to reach with conventional bicycles?
  4. What are the effects of pedelecs across different social-demographic groups?


The goal of PLUG-IN is to develop and test approaches for mode and route selection of cycling traffic that enable modeling of cycling traffic differentiated by mode of propulsion. For this purpose, existing data such as that of the MiD will be used, and existing surveys such as the STADTRADELN campaign will be supplemented, for example with AI recognition methods for GPS trajectories.

Funding source

BMDV Bicycle Traffic Endowed Professorship


01 May 2022 until 30 April 2026


Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heather Kaths
+49 (0)202 / 439 4433

Dipl.-Ing. Leonard Arning
+49 (0)202 / 439 4432

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