When you think of Ford you probably picture a big all-American car, but the company is expanding beyond its traditional market. The automaker recently teamed up with MIT to research self-driving cars, and now it’s experimenting with a new type of vehicle entirely: the bicycle.
Ford unveiled three new electric bicycles earlier this summer, including the MoDe:Flex. Last week I got a chance to see this new eBike for myself, and although the company wouldn’t actually let me ride it on the mean streets of Brooklyn, I still came away extremely impressed. This may just be the smartest bike ever.
The MoDe:Flex features an extremely adaptable design. You can swap out the wheels to switch from mountain biking to city streets, and even fold the bike to store in the trunk of your car. The center frame holds a motor along with a removable battery that slides out for easy recharging.
The bike is also packed full of sensors and other technology. Each handlebar features a built-in vibration engine that works with a special Ford app to deliver turn-by-turn directions straight to your hands. A sensor in back works with a light up front to warn you if someone comes in too close from behind, and a simple joystick lets you control the electric motor with your thumb.
“There’s really never been any bike like this before,” explained Bruce Williams, Senior Creative Design for Ford, who developed the MoDe:Flex. “This bike is a perfect commuter bike, but it’s an enthusiast bike. It’s not just a single focus type of product. It’s something that’s with you all the time.”
Unfortunately, there’s no clear plan to actually launch this electric bicycle. It’s still more concept than final product, even if Ford already has a working prototype to show off. We hope that changes one day.