September 21, 2011 weblog
Ford concept E-Bike has smartphone built in
(PhysOrg.com) -- Ford Motor Company has been showing of its concept E-Bike at the Frankfort auto show. Though the company says its isnt likely to actually sell the bike, it does offer some striking features. For one thing, its unisex; theres no bar between the seat and handlebars to differentiate between boy or girl model. Also, theyve hidden the stuff that makes it go. Though it does power itself, youd never know looking at it. The motor is hidden away in the front axle works, and the battery is hidden in the frame. Thus, onlookers might be forgiven for confusing it with an ordinary bike as it also features pedals. But perhaps the thing that draws the most notice is the upfront display. Its a Samsung Galaxy S2 Smartphone. And not only does it do all the things Smartphones are known for, but it serves as an interface between the rider and the inner workings of the bike.
On its site, Ford says that the display (Smartphone) can be used to allow the rider to choose from three different support modes: Economy, Comfort and Sport. It appears these modes allow the user to change the tightness of the suspension so as to provide the best ride for different types of environments, e.g. bumpy, off-road, street, etc. It can also be used as a message display to notify the rider of things going wrong with the bike, as a fuel gauge and as a means of displaying data such as speed, distance traveled, etc.
The bike can go up to 16 mph, (25 kilometers/hour) and weighs just five and a half pounds (2.5 kilograms). It can go about 53 miles (85 kilometers) on average, which means riders could put the Smartphones GPS capabilities to good use as they glide along.
The company has also implemented custom developed magnetostriction sensor technology that it says it borrowed from Formula I race cars. Such technology allows for the conversion of magnetic energy into kinetic, and the other way around. The sensors read bearing information making the transition from pedaling to electric power seamless.
The Concept E-Bike was developed in conjunction with cyber-Wear, the German company that runs Ford's Lifestyle Collection (marketing products) such as sunglasses, watches, jackets, gloves etc. The idea it appears, is to use the E-Bike as a marketing tool to show off Fords ability to produce cutting edge technology.
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