Electric Bikes and Mobile Experience
Bikes outfitted with the Green Wheel and a mobile device can create a network of distributed urban sensors.
The Green Wheel, developed by the Smart Cities group at the MIT Media Lab, is a modular, in-wheel electric motor that transforms an pedal-powered bicycle into an electrically assisted hybrid “eBike” and includes a battery-recharging generator that recycles the bike’s own energy. The Mobile Experience Lab developed a prototype Web and mobile-based platform that interfaces with the wheel itself. The lab also worked with the Smart Cities Group to envision future scenarios related to social navigation, distributed data sensing, healthcare, optimization of bike-sharing racks, peer-to-peer freight delivery, and civic engagement. For example, bikes outfitted with the Green Wheel and a mobile device can create a network of distributed urban sensors, collecting data on road conditions, sound pollution, and mobility patterns using the mobile device’s accelerometer, microphone, and GPS. Sensors on the handlebars can collect data on air quality. A dedicated Web service can aggregate the data, providing a real-time view of the state of urban life. It is a new platform for sustainable mobility.