The Copenhagen Wheel: smart hybrid biking

While most of the news we’ve heard coming out of Copenhagen involves climate negotiations among world leaders, the Danish capital is also hosting business expos, technology demonstrations, and even artistic events during the UN Climate Summit. Yesterday, the team from MIT’s SENSEable City Lab joined in the festivities to unveil the Copenhagen Wheel, a simple enhancement for ordinary bicycles designed to make city cycling a little less taxing, and a little smarter.

According to the Lab, the Wheel “transforms ordinary bicycles quickly into hybrid e-bikes that also function as mobile sensing units.” After installation, “The wheel harvests the energy you input while braking and cycling and stores it for when you need a bit of a boost. At the same time, sensors in the wheel are collecting information about air and noise pollution, congestion and road conditions.” Thus, you benefit individually from the power assistance, and can contribute to a database of information designed to help all local cyclists plan the best routes in terms of environmental and safety conditions.

The Copenhagen Wheel is just a prototype at this point… but we can see this flying off the shelves at bike stores should it become commercially available.

via The COP15 Post

Image credit: The Copenhagen Wheel Project