Bicycle enthusiasts who are also techies got their fix of excitement at Mobile World Congress from Ford, as they brought a pair of smart e-bike prototypes to the show.
Called MoDe:Me and MoDe:Pro, the bikes connect to your smartphone and offer navigation feedback via the handlebar grips, which vibrate when you need to turn left or right. The bikes can also alert you of any hazards lying ahead or behind, communicate with other vehicles and even charge your smartphone, which goes on a cradle in the handlebar.
Both e-bikes offer electric pedal help which is adjustable. When pedaling becomes too hard, the bike makes it as easy as you like, without completely taking over. In terms of specs, both bikes have a 200-watt motor with a 9-amp-hour battery, providing pedal help for speeds up to 25 km/h.
The main difference between the two prototypes is the size. The MoDe:Me is a compact, foldable city bike, while the MoDe:Pro is bigger and primarily for urban commercial use (bike messengers, for example). Furthermore, Ford built the bigger bike while bicycle manufacturer Dahon helped to build the smaller version.
Of course, for all of this to work, you’ll need the MoDe:Link smartphone app which, besides providing location data for navigation, also enables you to control certain bike aspects. For example, you can turn on the signal lights in the handlebars.