As part of the expansion of its Smart Mobility Plan unveiled at the Barcelona Mobile World Congress recently, Ford announced two new e-Bikes aimed at augmenting the urban commuter's transport solutions. Check it out - a folding scooter-thing, and a courier bike:
- The MoDe:Me e-bike – built with the help of bicycle manufacturer Dahon – is intended for urban commuters to keep moving in congested city traffic. It folds and stows easily, allowing commuters to park on the city outskirts, take the e-bike onto public transport and travel to the centre, then ride the e-bike to their destination.
- The MoDe:Pro e-bike – built by a Ford team – is intended for urban commercial use such as by couriers, electricians, and goods and delivery services. It is designed to stow safely into commercial vehicles such as Transit Connect, which can act as carrier and support vehicle, and be combined with more than one e-bike.
These are not without some snappy smartphone high tech GPS and power management features too, but of course:
- Navigation: Handle-bar grip vibrations let the rider know when to turn. Turn signals are triggered automatically for safety. The app can identify bike-friendly roads, hazards and alerts, and will be able to sense, and communicate with other vehicles.
- Multimodal navigation and smart routing: Integrates journey planning with personal vehicle and public transportation networks, which can be filtered by cost, time, and amount of biking. Map includes weather, parking costs, and charging stations.
- Speed and comfort: Electric pedal assist rate can be adjusted based on heart rate, “No Sweat” mode reduces the requirement to pedal, allowing riders to arrive fresh at their destination.
- SYNC compatibility: While the e-bike is stowed and charging inside the vehicle, Ford’s SYNC voice-activated connectivity system shows the app on the vehicle’s display.
You know we love the silly scooters, but this is actually part of a significant round of international experiments the company is committing to, along with some software that may actually make sense for a denizen of the urban commute:
Global mobility projects
Ford first announced Ford Smart Mobility and an initial 25 experiments designed to anticipate what customers will want and need in tomorrow’s transportation ecosystem at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. There are now experiments in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, and South America. These experiments include:
- Big Data Drive: Dearborn, Michigan
- Fleet Insights: United States
- Data Driven Insurance: London
- Remote Repositioning: Atlanta
- City Driving On-Demand: London
- Dynamic Social Shuttle: New York, London
- Car Swap: Dearborn, Michigan
- Ford Carsharing: Germany
- Share-Car: Bangalore, India
- Rapid Recharge & Share: Dearborn, Michigan
- Data Driven Healthcare: The Gambia, West Africa
- Parking Spotter: Atlanta
- Info Cycle: Palo Alto, California
- Painless Parking: London
...and for a taste of how this all comes together, take a look at the MoDe:Link app video: "...designed to utilise the right mode of transportation at the right time and in the right situation. With the app, personal mobility is seamlessly connected, and real-time information about weather, traffic, costs, time, navigation and public transport is all at your fingertips.."