Ford Motor Company Expands Global Ford Smart Mobility
Ford Motor Company is expanding its global Ford Smart Mobility plan with a new experiment to study how electric bicycles can work seamlessly with cars and public transport to deliver faster and easier daily commutes and help businesses operating in urban areas.
The experiment called Handle on Mobility was recently announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This marks the latest mobility project Ford has announced worldwide this year as part of the Ford Smart Mobility. The Ford Smart Mobility plan was created to help change the way the world moves through innovation in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and big data.
“Changing the way we think, collaborate and behave is essential to ensuring freedom of movement of both people and economies,” said Barb Samardzich, chief operating officer, Ford of Europe. “The Ford Smart Mobility plan supports our commitment to innovation and is aimed specifically at developing smarter transportation systems that take the worry and anxiety out of journey planning and improve the quality of life in busy cities.”
As a starting point for the experiment, Ford challenged employees around the world to submit designs for e-bikes. According to Ford prototype MoDe:Me and MoDe:Pro e-bikes are among the top designs from more than 100 submitted.
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 prototype e-bikes offer technology inspired by the automotive industry including, for example, a rear-facing ultrasonic sensor. This enables a rider alert system that both warns the cyclist when a vehicle is overtaking, by vibrating both handlebars, and alerts motorists of the presence of the e-bike by illuminating handlebar lights.
The bikes, which fold easily into Ford vehicles, meet the needs of different users. The MoDe:Me e-bike was created with the help of bicycle manufacturer Dahon and 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, or ride the e-bike to their destination.
The MoDe:Pro e-bike was built by a Ford team and 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
The e-bikes currently work with an app called MoDe:Link, also a prototype, which is compatible with the iPhone 6.