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Ford Unveils E-Bike Projects

Ford E-BikeFord Motor Company introduced several bicycle initiatives at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona this week. Info Cycle is Ford’s open-source research initiative to gather information about how bicycles are used in different urban environments. For the project, Ford connected sensors to bikes and then tracked the bikes in cities to capture data such as pedal speed, location, and acceleration.

At the show they also unveiled prototypes for two e-bikes and a related app. The e-bike projects are part of the Ford Smart Mobility Plan, which aims, in their words, to “change the way the world moves through innovation in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and big data.”

The e-bikes include a 200-watt motor with a 9-amp-hour battery that provides pedal assist at speeds up to 15 miles per hour. Riders can adjust the pedal assist rate based on heart rate, for example, by switching to “no sweat” mode for more assistance. The bikes include technology inspired by the auto industry, such as a rear-facing sensor that alerts riders with vibrations on the handle bars when a vehicle approaches from behind.

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The related mobile app provides real-time information on weather, traffic, and nearby public transportation. Additionally, navigation identifies bike-friendly roads and warns about hazards. Not only will the bike handles vibrate to alert cyclists when to turn, but turn signals are also automatically triggered. One version of the bike is designed for urban commuters, and another is meant for commercial use, such as bike couriers. The e-bikes are designed to fold and easily fit into Ford cars, and the app can be viewed on Ford vehicle displays through Ford’s voice-activated system.

Source: Travel Pulse | Image via Ford  

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