Mobility is the buzzword of the twenty-first century. No other market will change as significantly in the coming decades as mobility. People have become used to bridging long and short distances very flexibly.
Micromobility will play a decisive role in the way people move from a place to another, and most solutions will be developed within a few kilometres of people‘s homes. Micromobility is a collective term for the various forms of transportation around the centre of life. One of the key applications for micromobility is the pedelec or E-bike. The E-Bike makes it possible for older people to use the bicycle in the same way as younger generations do. For the younger generation, the pedelec offers a much greater range of motion. One of the prerequisites, if not the core, of the pedelec or E-Bike is the torque sensor, which is responsible for measuring the pedalling force exerted by the rider.
The control parameters for the electronic support are set on the basis of this measured variable. The torque sensor thus ensures that the control has an input variable that can be defined by the user and thus allows the user to control the driving assistance. A further function of the torque sensor is to ensure that the motor is not supported during certain driving behaviour if this represents a danger to people, i.e. it has a safety-relevant function.
About 10 years ago there was no such thing as a market for torque sensors, since measuring torque in many applications was often only a „nice to have“ function. This has now fundamentally changed and led to the emergence of new technologies to measure this variable. The first approaches for torque measurement were developed from already known technologies. These technologies were converted in a very short time from a first development phase into a series application. This led to the use of poorly developed technologies, which caused relatively many problems in the early days of the pedelec. Two of the more well-known problems were the very high sensitivity to external interference and the complexity of the supply chain during production. New technologies such as the active magnetic inductive torque sensor are replacing these first generation sensors. This also enables new manufacturers in the field of electric drives to use this core component in their applications. This basic prerequisite for micromobility has led to the gradual emergence of new applications based on the idea of „power assistance for humans through an electric drive“, opening up new possibilities for mobility. For example, baby buggies are equipped with the same equipment as shopping carts, load wheels and much more. New applications are emerging in a relatively short time from the innovative spirit of many companies and will ensure that the requirements for torque sensors in these applications are constantly changing.