Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Bicycle wheel of the future - The Copenhagen Wheel

I might be a bit late to this seeing as it was announced back in 2009 but I've just read about it. The picture above is of The Copenhagen Wheel developed by MIT and Ducatti. The exciting bit is in the stylish red disc you see on the rear wheel, within this hub there is whole host of tech which monitors air quality, distance travelled, calories burnt, noise level and more and it also acts as a motor to help you cycle up the hill home. The motor uses a system similar to the KERS system in Formula 1 which recaptures energy from braking and stores the electricity to give you a boost when you need it.

You can then feed all the data your hub has collected back into a central data bank to help guide policy of the future or just show the busiest, dirtiest and noisiest streets in your city. Then share all of that information will fellow citizens to show them quickest or safest route home. 

As part of MIT's SENSEable City Lab project, which aims to look at how our cities can be enhanced by technology and crowd sourcing information, The Copenhagen Wheel could be an incredible leap forward for both bicycle design as well as urban data collection. As a keen cyclist and an analyst this excites me a lot.
Photos by Max Tomasinelli