Ford is one among the large global automotive companies working to build the next generation of urban mobility solutions, in the hope of disrupting the way the world moves.
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the company announced a new experiment -Handle on Mobility – to study how electric bikes can aid urban transport alongside automobiles and public transport.
Handle on Mobility
The key premise of the experiment is to extend the range of transport solutions for a connected journey that is more efficient, safer, healthier, and is completed with less anxiety and stress.
Ford challenged its employees from around the world to submit designs for e-bikes, and the MoDe:Me and MoDe:Pro showcased at MWC were the top designs from the more than 100 entries the company received.
Both e-bikes are equipped with a 200-watt motor with 9-amp-hour battery that provides electric pedal assist for speeds of up to 25 km/h.
The MoDe:Me is designed to be foldable and fit easily into Ford vehicles, allowing commuters to park their cars at the outskirts of a city and use the e-bike to ride to their destination. The MoDe:Pro on the other hand is designed for use by couriers, electricians, and goods and delivery service professionals that are located in city centres.
Both e-bikes work with Ford’s MoDe:Link app for the iPhone 6, which handles navigation and smart route delivery, controls the various modes on the e-bike and pairs up with Ford’s in-car SYNC system when stored and charging in the car. The app is smart enough to route a users towards say a train station, carry the e-bike onto the train and then continue to the final destination via e-bike.
Info Cycle Experiment
In tandem with Ford’s Handle on Mobility experiment, the company also showcased the Info Cycle experiment, and open source research initiative to gather information about how bikes are used in different urban areas. The learnings from the initiative will help Ford’s MoDe:Link app suggest better routes to users of its e-bikes, seamlessly tying in the use of cars, buses, trains and e-bikes for better mobility.
The initiative makes use of core IoT tech, and has been designed to enhance understanding of the biking ecosystem and to improve safety for cyclists, as well as exploring improved mapping, smart journey planning and community-based services. A sensor box on the frame of each bike gathers data such as wheel speed, acceleration, weather and altitude.
Despite being one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturer, Ford understands that the car is only a part of the puzzle that forms urban mobility. In fact, by boosting connectivity, energy efficiency and safety in mobility, all Ford is doing is ensuring the car remains to be an integral part of mobility in the future.