Ford is serious about marrying eBikes and cars and just revealed a new bike concept called the MoDe:Flex, complete with a new smartwatch app. Like other prototypes from its new Palo Alto Research and Innovation Center, it's an electric-assisted bicycle that uses a special app to help you do "multimodal" commutes via car, train and bike. This model is aimed more at car owners, however, as you can quickly break it down into two equal pieces for easy trunk storage. The idea is to drive part way to your destination, park, then put the Mode:Flex bike together and finish the trip by leg power, with a battery assist for steep hills.
You can plan the whole thing using the Mode:Link smartphone app, which takes into account congestion, weather, parking costs and your fitness level. There's also a new smartwatch app, which we presume works in conjunction with the phone app. Ford hasn't revealed any specs for the new bike, though its similar MoDe:Pro concept has a 200-watt motor and 9-amp-hour batteries, with a top pedal-aided speed of 25 km/h (16MPH). It also has vibrating handlebars to notify you of overtaking cars, a pedal assist mode that auto-adjusts based on your heart rate and other techie touches.
We've reached out to Ford for a bit more info, but for now it appears that the bike and app are still in the prototype stage. However, there's an intense level of interest in eBikes, judging by the response to products like Teague's Denny eBike and the MoDe:Pro. Multimodal commuting also makes a lot of sense to ease congestion and pollution, so hopefully Ford will get this model out of the lab and into consumers' hands -- at a reasonable price, of course.