Copenhagen Wheel finally on the streets

Since we first learned about The Copenhagen Wheel during the nomination process for INDEX: Award 2011, we have been eagerly awaiting its debut on the commercial market. Luckily, we do not have to wait much longer, as MIT SENSEable City Laboratory Associate Director, Assaf Biderman has just come out and announced: “We’re now less than 60 days away from introducing the first-ever commercial model of the Copenhagen Wheel.”The announcement comes after the project has landed $2.1 million in funding to commercialize the patented intelligent wheel.

The reason why we like this project so much is because it makes it difficult to come up with excuses not to ride your bike, even if you are going long distances. All you have to do is connect it to your smartphone and take off. The wheel will do the rest, providing you with that extra boost of power when you need it, effectively turning your bike into a “hybrid e-bike”.

“It is estimated that two to four billion people worldwide are cyclists, yet most urban areas have grown too large to cycle through.”

Biderman explains: “It is estimated that two to four billion people worldwide are cyclists, yet most urban areas have grown too large to cycle through. By throwing a Copenhagen Wheel on your bike, you can ride almost anywhere – hills feel flattened, distances shrunk, and it’s connected through a range of apps that let you control and personalize your bike.”

The Copenhagen Wheel allows you to capture the energy dissipated while cycling and braking and save it for when you need a bit of a boost. It also maps pollution levels, traffic congestion, and road conditions in real-time.

 

You can also use your phone to unlock and lock your bike, change gears and select how much the motor assists you. As you cycle, the wheel’s sensing unit is also capturing your effort level and information about your surroundings, including road conditions, carbon monoxide, NOx, noise, ambient temperature and relative humidity. Access this data through your phone or the web and use it to plan healthier bike routes, to achieve your exercise goals or to meet up with friends on the go.

Another cool feature of the Copenhagen Wheel is that you can share your data with friends, or with your city – anonymously if you wish – thereby contributing to a fine-grained database of environmental information from which everybody will benefit.

The Copenhagen Wheel project is run by Boston-based company Superpedestrian,  founded by Biderman who was part of the original Copenhagen Wheel group.

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