At the Eurobike 2015 fair Bulls, Telekom, and Brose (all Germany) showcase the Bulls Sturmvogel E Evo, which is a networked e-bike. It lets the user get information on the bike's location and battery charge at any time using a smartphone app.
THE BICYCLE MANUFACTURER BULLS, the e-bike system producer Brose, and Telekom are making e-bikes smart. The partners present the networked electric bicycle at the Eurobike 2015 show in Friedrichshafen from August 26 to 29, at the Bulls stand and the Hercules stand. In future, it will be possible to get information on the bike's location and battery charge at any time using a smartphone app. And any customers wanting a little extra service can request Bulls and Brose to check the networked electric motor on a regular basis using remote diagnosis and be informed of any service required via the app. Bulls is planning the market launch of the Sturmvogel E Evo in Germany as a special networked model in 2017. The e-bike will be available without its networked features in 2016.
The bike's "central nervous system" is a match box-sized technical unit built into the e-bike's frame. The so-called on board unit (OBU) is fitted with a SIM card, a miniature processor (micro controller), a bluetooth interface, a motion sensor, and a GPS module. The OBU and electric motor are linked together via a CAN interface through which the e-motor transmits information on run time and battery level. The OBU sends this data over the mobile phone network to a highly secured T-Systems data center and to the user's app. And users will no longer have to return to the dealership when updates are available: the OBU receives the new driver software via the air interface and installs the software update entirely automatically via the CAN network.
Whether on the move or at home, users will always know where their bike is and how much farther it can travel without recharging. If the bike is stolen, the smartphone app or the cloud platform can find it and notify the police of its location immediately.
The bike's motion sensor recognizes unusually fast breaking and excessive tilting. In such cases, the bike's integrated display first checks whether the rider is ok. If the user fails to react and does not continue riding, the bike sends a text message with location data to a pre-defined contact person. In the event of accidents in remote areas, this makes it easier to find the cyclist quickly and provide assistance.
Using remote diagnosis the service app informs the user about the e-bike's condition at all times. The numerous in-built sensors analyze wear and tear to the breaks, motor, battery and, in the future, will do so for many other components also. As a result inspections can be carried out promptly and worn parts replaced at the right time. Unexpected incidents like flat tires or uncharged batteries are now a thing of the past.
This technology, which the partners are developing in collaboration with the bicycle manufacturer Hercules, is also intended for use in fleet and delivery bikes. Fleet operators in particular can benefit from the networking technology: due to remote diagnosis and the many sensors on the bike, fleet operators know everything about their bikes at all times: when each bike needs service, when best to use the bike where and how to avoid down time. Additional functions can be added to meet customers' needs. Hercules is also planning to launch the first networked delivery bikes in 2017.
Telekom announced its first collaboration in "networked bicycles" at Eurobike 2014 and has continued to develop the technology since then. In addition to the networked Bulls Sturmvogel, at Eurobike 2015 Telekom and its partner PSP will also be showcasing a concealed tracking system for stolen bikes. The Velocate tail light is attached to the luggage rack and fitted with a Telekom SIM card, GPS, and vicinity location using Bluetooth. Power is supplied via dynamo or the e-bike's on-board voltage. The system, developed by PSP, can be connected to smartphones. A pan-European tracking service is included in the purchase price.
News and reports