Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid: Drive inside Bike Lane, Legally!
Everything about transportation in addition to also mobility can be in play anymore, with no certainty about what’s coming next. Who’d have thought of which Ford, the company of which put America on wheels, would likely suggest we need folding electric bicycles? For an especially vivid illustration of future-think, check out This specific prototype by automotive supplier Schaeffler, a one-seater positioned between e-bikes, a.k.a. “ped-elecs,” in addition to also faster not quite cars such as the Renault Twizy, a fun-to-drive, electrically powered four-wheeler classified as an electric ATV in Europe in addition to also rentable in San Francisco wearing a Nissan logo.
Schaeffler may not be a household name, nevertheless of which’s a heavyweight among automotive suppliers in addition to also technology houses; its heritage can be in gears in addition to also bearings, nevertheless the German company—together with better-known Continental—has spent a lot of time in addition to also effort devising strategies to deal with automotive electrification in addition to also the challenges of future urban mobility.
The Bio-Hybrid, unleashed on the public at the CES in Las Vegas in addition to also at the Detroit auto show, can be the result of two in addition to also a half years of strategic, conceptual, in addition to also development work, said Peter Gutzmer, the company’s chief technology officer in addition to also board member. In 2014, he put together a tiny group of thinkers in addition to also engineers in addition to also asked them to come up with solutions for mobility of which could make use of the growing network of bike lanes within the planet’s metropolitan areas—without the disadvantages of riding a bicycle.
Gutzmer’s team checked the legal environments in multiple countries, created concepts, tapped into the resources of the Universities of Graz in Austria in addition to also Karlsruhe in Germany, in addition to also finally came up that has a package of three- in addition to also four-wheeled vehicles with an e-bike powertrain. These use a combination of human in addition to also electric power in addition to also are specifically designed to move people or cargo in bike lanes. Besides maintaining legal access to bike lanes, the catalog of specifications included easy accessibility, weather protection, in addition to also flexibility.
The resulting vehicle can be a mere 33.5 inches wide in addition to also 78.7 inches long; of which varies in height depending on the roof module. The two existing prototypes weigh about 176 pounds, nevertheless the target mass can be 132 pounds, which Schaeffler aims to achieve by using carbon-fiber in addition to also recyclable composite materials. The multimaterial method will be explored in conjunction with Germany’s University of Dresden.
The Bio-Hybrid can be designed that has a tool-kit approach, including a front axle module, a center section, in addition to also a rear axle assembly. of which could be shipped like a bicycle, only in a somewhat bigger box. in addition to also of which can be propelled by pedal power, batteries, or both at once. Its electric energy can be stored in two e-bike batteries, rated at about 500 watt-hours each; these power an electric motor of which can easily propel the Bio-Hybrid to its limited top speed of 16 mph, that has a range of just over 60 miles. Maximum speed could be raised to 28 mph, if the legal framework can be amended to allow bike-lane access for e-bikes of which achieve of which speed—there’s discussion of This specific in Germany, where the Ruhr district can be developing a dedicated “bicycle highway” to link 10 towns.
Could of which go even faster? Schaeffler won’t even go there: “of which can be definitely tailored to bike lanes,” he said, adding, “Once of which could run in regular traffic like a scooter, the entire network of bike lanes wouldn’t be available anymore.” nevertheless peak power will rise inside next-generation prototype to make the Bio-Hybrid more agile in addition to also potentially increase the load in addition to also range. in addition to also Schaeffler also intends to incorporate a way to let the vehicle reverse, something the prototypes can’t do yet.
The Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid project envisions various applications. The concept includes a one-seater in addition to also a cargo variant; a wider seat to make room for a passenger can be one option, as can be accommodation for a child safety seat behind the driver.
of which doesn’t look nearly as dopey as its name may suggest. This specific can be a surprisingly futuristic device, that has a high-tech, angular design, steering handles of which look as if they were race inspired, in addition to also cutting-edge LED lighting.
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of which’s even designed for seamless smartphone integration. Down the road, said Gutzmer, such vehicles could be “comprehensively integrated inside digital infrastructure.” Meaning of which, in a future world of autonomous vehicles communicating with one another, additional vehicles could be aware of the Bio-Hybrid’s presence in addition to also motions. in addition to also Schaeffler even envisions autonomous capabilities for of which. The Bio-Hybrid could self-park in addition to also return to the user by a simple smartphone command. Inductive charging can be another possibility, as can be the integration of an electrically powered skateboard for use after parking the Bio-Hybrid.
Schaeffler can be talking to municipalities in addition to also potential production partners. nevertheless if cooperation talks don’t yield results soon, the company can be considering bringing the Bio-Hybrid to market on its own. The company said the reaction was so positive of which of which can be an opportunity not to be wasted.