Ford MoDe:Pro e-bikes, for urban commuters.
Ford announced the Ford Smart Mobility initiative at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January: 25 experiments designed to anticipate what customers will want and need in the future. One of those has come to fruition, with a prototype e-bike, MoDe:Pro.
The e-bike is designed for commuters – it folds easily and can be carried onto public transportation or stowed in a car. The idea is that commuters can drive part way, then bike, or bike and take a train or bus. Dahon, which makes folding bikes with small wheels, helped develop the e-bikes. The e-bikes have electric pedal assist so they can go up to 15 miles per hour. Serious cyclists can go 15 miles per hour without electric assist, but they will likely be too sweaty to then go to work.
Safety features includes a rear-facing ultrasonic sensor that both warns the cyclist when a vehicle is approaching, by vibrating both handlebars. It also alerts motorists of the presence of the e-bike by illuminating the handlebar lights.
There are also apps to help you navigate, with handlebar vibrations telling you when to turn; much safer than mounting your smartphone and looking at the screen while you pedal.
The ‘pro’ in the name is for prototype; the MoDe:Pro e-bike isn’t in production yet.