Electric vehicles in the society: Beyoglu Police case

Case study


Beyoglu Municipal Police



  • Increasing the performance of the local police force
  • Decreasing the waiting time in emergency situations
  • Swapping current gas transportation to green energy vehicles


Security / Patrolling



  • Easy to learn
  • Faster than walking or driving a car in congested areas
  • The most lightweight among personal transport devices


Istiklal Street, Istanbul


  • Zero emissions

Since summer 2014, the Beyoglu Municipal Police in Istanbul have had their daily routines transformed with electric unicycles. Speeding past their fellow citizens on Istiklal Street, which is the equivalent of London’s Oxford Street, they have far greater visibility and attend criminal incidents noticeably quicker.

Istiklal Street is a pedestrianised thoroughfare running from Taksim Square all the way down to Galata Tower. Densely populated with 3 million people, it’s the most popular shopping area in Turkey with thousands of tourists and locals passing through every day. Attracting millions of visitors each year, the street needs to have a visible police presence to ensure public and municipal safety. Tourists who are new to Istanbul often ask the police for directions and assistance in emergency situations.

Being a part of the innovative project, the police were provided with eight electric unicycles. Having learned to ride smoothly and safely in less than two weeks, the officers found the new mode of patrolling increasingly effective and rather pleasant. Beyoglu Municipal police forces normally have a car to patrol the streets. Only law and medical vehicles are allowed to drive in the area because of high congestion. During summer, Istiklal Street becomes more crowded than usual, which makes the police reluctant to drive in the area because of the risk of hitting the pedestrians.

Patrolling on an electric wheel eliminates this hazard and provides the police with far greater mobility than driving. Generating zero emissions, electric unicycles help access the incident locations faster and chase down the offenders in congested areas. Whereas, the wheel’s speed and responsiveness, compared to those of other types of personal vehicles, gives the police the manoeuvrability and speed necessary to navigate through the crowds.

Providing Beyoglu Municipal Police with far greater utility than cars and bicycles, electric unicycle usage is an amazing example of how this technology can become the future of policing and patrolling in large cities. Not only does it improve the police officers’ routine, but also invigorates the urban landscape of the district. Once a typical shopping area, Istikal is now a place infused with innovation, spirit and a spot where you can see the first (and definitely not the last) electric wheeling police forces.

Oleg Pogrebnyak

Project42 representive

+44 (0) 747 869 2080

Download this case study PDF