Ford has unveiled two prototype folding electric Smart Bikes which will help people and traffic move better around the megacities of the future.
The bikes will feature sensors to alert riders of overtaking vehicles, provide instant feedback though the handlebars to tell riders which way to turn, and will adjust the electric pedal assistance depending on your heart rate.
The motor company's electric bike experiment forms part of the company's vision of how people will move and travel in the future. Called the Smart Mobility Plan, Ford is attempting to use innovation in connectivity and autonomous vehicles to solve problems which are envisioned as more megacities (cities of 10 million people and more) are created.
According to the European Commission, congestion within the European Union costs about 100bn euros each year, and is only set to get worse.
The two models that have been debuted have been chosen from over 100 designs submitted by Ford staff from around the world.
The two bikes are designed for different types of journeys:
MoDe:Me - built with the help of bicycle manufacturer Dahon – is intended for urban commuters to keep moving in congested city traffic. It folds and stores easily, allowing commuters to park on the city outskirts, take the e-bike onto public transport and travel to the centre, then ride the ebike to their destination.
MoDe:Pro - built by a Ford team, it is intended for urban commercial use such as by couriers, electricians, and goods and delivery services. It is designed to store safely into commercial vehicles such as Transit Connect, which can act as carrier and support vehicle, and be combined with more than one ebike.
Both Ford's e-bikes are equipped with a 200-watt motor with a 9-amp-hour battery that provides electric pedal assistance for speeds of up to 25km/h (15mph).
The bikes will work in collaboration with a new app call MoDe:Link that only works with the iPhone 6 initially and will offer navigation and instant feedback to the rider.
A rear-facing ultrasonic sensor will alert riders to when a car is overtaking them by making the handles vibrate, and vise versa to the dricvers. The bikes will also adjust how much assistance it gives riders based on their heart rate and will come with a ‘No Sweat’ mode if you are travelling to a meeting and want to avoid unsightly sweat-patches.
Turn signals will be triggered automatically for safety and the app will be able to identify bike-friendly roads, hazards and alerts, and will be able to sense, and communicate with other vehicles.
Please check out the short and sweet video released by Ford below to promote the Smart Bike.