Ford Motor Company debuts MoDe e-bike prototypes at MWC 2015

Ford's e-bike prototypes 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).

3/27/15 5:00 am chumakdenis 1

Ford has launched electric bicycles at Mobile World Congress, as part of its plans to extend its footprint beyond cars and help people to deal with traffic congestion.

The Handle on Mobility concept, an app-powered electric bicycle that folds out from your trunk to connect the dots in your travel that can’t efficiently be traversed by car.

Introduced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the setup is targeted at “ensuring freedom of movement of both people and economies,” says Ford of Europe chief operating officer Barb Samardzich. Handle on Mobility is comprised, basically, of three components: the car, the e-bike, and your smartphone.

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MoDe:Me and MoDe:Pro e-bikes

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The bikes are folding units powered by 200-watt electric motors that can assist the human motivator up to around 15 mph(25km/h). The bikes feature automotive-style safety tech, like rear-facing ultrasonic sensors that alert the rider when a car is closing in by vibrating the handlebars. The two-wheelers come in two forms - the MoDe:Me commuter bike, a small-wheel fold-up diminutive enough to lug onto a train or bus, and the larger MoDe:Pro, a collapsible delivery bike suited for couriers, delivery services, and other commercial types.

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Navigation system

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Both bikes are keyed in to a concept iPhone app called MoDe:Link, a multimode navigation suite that will find the safest, most efficient route no matter which mode of transport you choose. After entering your destination and preferred ratio of pedaling, petrol, and public transit, the app finds you an idealized route. For the biking portions, the app provides turn-by-turn directions via handlebars that vibrate to indicate your next directional change, and automatic turn signals on the ends of the handgrips illuminate when you should be turning(cool, isn’t it?).

3435.jpg“There are so many ways to get around a city, but what is really needed is a way to connect all of these transport options together,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “Being able to seamlessly move between cars, buses, trains and e-bikes and react to changing traffic situations can make a big difference both for commuters and for those delivering goods, services and healthcare.”

Why Ford is so nice?What's the catch?

It's nice that Ford is thinking about all this stuff.

Or, is it? Instead of introducing these e-bikes as truly green-and-clean, healthy modes of transportation, Ford seems to be treating them more like PR tools. They are prototypes, without set ship dates or prices. In other words, they don't discourage the car as the #1 city-transport tool; instead they are treated as more of a handy add-on for people who just can't any longer find parking in crowded city centers and might have been considering the purchase of a Ford vehicle.

Still, Ford is thinking that a foldable e-bike is a great way to easily connect various city transportation options, and in this we appreciate.

They even have a pilot project called Info Cycle running in Palo Alto, California, to see how bikes  with sensors can gather data that might improve the riding experience for people on bikes.

Well,let's hope that Ford keeps up these experiments,develops these prototype bikes into the real thing, and actually reduces dependence on cars and improves safety for bicyclists.It would be really cool of them.

*What do you think about Ford's e-bike prototypes?Will they go on sale or it's just PR?

Leave your comments in the comment section below.

  ford mode:pro mode:me ford's e-bike prototypes concept electric bicycle mwc 2015 mobile world congress 2015

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