The Copenhagen Wheel has been aptly named after the city that is well known for its large number of cyclists. Any visitor to the city is sure to notice the number of people cycling their way around.
With such a great percent of the population riding a bicycle, the Copenhagen Wheel comes as a welcome gift. It has features that make it desirable for any bike rider.
‘Smart, responsive, and elegant’ is how the Wheel can be described. At the center of the rear wheel is a red hub. The hub contains a motor, batteries, and an internal gear system making it easier to overcome hilly terrains and cover long distances. With some modifications to the old wheel, a bicycle can be transformed into a hybrid electric-bike.
The new system of the wheel has been fit with regeneration and real-time sensing capabilities. Whenever you apply your breaks the energy released is captured by the hub to be used later on, for example when you need a boost in your cycling.
The Copenhagen Wheel can be connected with your Smart Phone and can easily become an extension of your day-to-day life. The excellent combination of your Smart Phone and Copenhagen Wheel can serve as your daily trainer. You can easily plan your rides, exercise schedules and get accurate feedback about your effort levels, and exercise goals. You can also get information related to traffic conditions, conditions favorable for cycling, and the pollutions levels of the city.
The Copenhagen Wheel has been designed and developed by a small team of students at SENSEable City Lab, MIT. The team discussed with the Copenhagen city’s municipality to investigate ways and means for improving the cycling experiences of the people. Four main obstacles were identified – distance, safety, topography, and infrastructure. The aim was to overcome all these four obstacles and give a sense of freedom to all cyclists. The answer was the Copenhagen Wheel. The motor takes care of the distance and topography while its pairing up with the Smart Phone supports infrastructure creation and instills a sense of safety.
Copenhagen has been chosen as the first official Bike City by the Union Cycliste Internationale. Around 36 percent of the city’s population prefers to commute on a bicycle rather than to use the public transport or a car. It is estimated that by the year 2015, approximately 50 per cent of the population would be using a bicycle. And probably a large number of them will be having the Copenhagen Wheel.