MIT Researchers have appropriately debuted the Copenhagen Wheel at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change.
This big red wheel has a very unique ability:
When you brake, your kinetic energy is recuperated by an electric motor and then stored by batteries within the wheel, so that you can have it back to you when you need it.
It is similar to tech that has been on Formula One racers for the past couple of years. So the next time you are going up a steep hill with that Copenhagen wheel on your bike, simply release all that energy that you got by braking earlier. I don’t think there is any indicator of how much energy you have, because that extra energy sounds like something that could run out real fast.
The development of this bicycle wheel has stemmed from what people are calling a “biking renaissance” or “Biking 2.0” to describe how designers are using “cheap electronics” to allow them to “augment bikes and convert them into a more flexible, on-demand system”.
For example, the designers of the Copenhagen wheel want to use a series of sensors and a Bluetooth connection to an iPhone that would be mounted on the bikes’ handlebars. The wheel would monitor the bike’s speed, the distance travelled as well as collect data on air pollution.
I got to tell you, if bicycles get any more advanced, they will become motorcycles.