Ford has unveiled two concept electric bikes at Mobile World Congress that aim to make riding around the city streets a little safer.
The two e-bikes, called MoDe:Me and MoDe:Pro, have a 200-watt electric motor and 9-amp-hour battery that can speed the rider along at speeds of up to 25km/h.
So far, so electric bike.
However, Ford’s e-bikes also feature a rear-facing sensor that alerts the rider if a car is approaching quickly from behind to allow them to take evasive action if necessary. It does this by making the handlebars vibrate, so no visual cue is required, although if you have the app open, that will show you a warning too.
It also flashes lights on the side of the handlebars and the rear of the bikes to warn the car’s driver.
Both bikes can also connect up to Ford’s prototype MoDe:Link app, which is currently only compatible with the iPhone 6. By connecting to the app, users can do things like input a destination and then get haptic feedback through the handlebars to tell the rider when to turn; blinking indicators also automatically activate to inform other road users you’re about to turn too.
Because both bikes are also foldable, when you do input a destination, the results you get for potential routes could include riding to a train station for part of your route, for example. Now, that’s smart route planning. It even includes the cost of any public transport options on your route.
Through the app, the bikes can also identify bike-friendly roads, as well as warn you about other potential hazards. Of course, if you’re feeling a little tired and don’t really feel like pedalling, you can always get a little electric assistance.
One model is designed for couriers and can be stowed in the back of a van, for example. The other, pictured here, (the MoDe:Me) is designed for commuters.
As a London resident, I really hope we see these prototypes being brought to market in the near future, as London roads are notoriously dangerous for cyclists. There’s no guarantee of that right now though.