Ford launches e-bikes
 March 10, 2015
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Ford Motor company Ford has launched electric bicycles at Mobile World Congress, as part of its plans to extend its footprint beyond cars.

Increasingly car manufacturers are looking to new ways to make money with many developing so-called smart transportation systems.

Ford's e-bikes come in two flavours – one for use by commuters and one as a commercial bike for couriers.

Both are linked to a smartphone app that provides step-by-step navigation.

The experiment with e-bikes is part of Ford's smart mobility plan – it is keen to study how such bicycles integrate with cars and public transport. "Being able to seamlessly move between cars, buses, trains and e-bikes and react to changing traffic situations can make a big difference both for commuters and for those delivering goods, services and healthcare."

Both Ford's e-bikes are equipped with a 200-watt motor with a 9-amp-hour battery that provides electric pedal assistance for speeds of up to 25km/h (15mph). Both can also be folded.#

Rear-facing sensors offer riders an alert system that warns the cyclist when a vehicle is overtaking by vibrating both handlebars. Sensors also alert motorists to the presence of the e-bike by lighting up the handlebars.

An app – currently only available on the iPhone 6 – provides step-by-step navigation – it plans an entire route for commuters, from driving to a train station to taking a train and completing a journey via an e-bike. It also offers information about the routes – so if a train service in cancelled it may offer an alternative method of transport.

It also provides navigation for riders, via a Bluetooth headset that uses haptic touch technology to notify the rider of whether to turn left or right.

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