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Audi’s E-Bike Includes Computer-Assist Trick Riding Tutor

Riders can use their smartphones plugged into the bike to learn, record and share extreme tricks and stunts.

Dave Pinter
Dave Pinter on May 19, 2012. @DavePinter

At the annual gathering of Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda fans at Wörthersee in Carinthia, Austria a bicycle will take the spotlight at the usually car focused event. Audi is debuting the e-bike Wörthersee prototype, a high-end performance bicycle for sports and trick riding. The e-bike Wörthersee integrates Audi’s e-tron technology with inspiration drawn from their racing experience.

A notable feature of the bike is the smartphone interface which provides coaching for learning and documenting trick riding.

The cyclist’s smartphone hooks up by WLAN to the computer – when you start cycling, for example, the immobilizer is deactivated. Video images of the trial drive or of a trick, as recorded via the in-helmet camera, are uploaded to the Internet in real time via your smartphone. Each trick performed successfully is then awarded success points, and as the number of points awarded grows, the cyclist receives awards and the challenge level rises, too. The rankings table in the Internet means you can measure yourself against other bikers and your friends. And where they happen to be comes to you via Facebook status reports that pop up on the Audi e-bike Wörthersee display.

When performing wheelies, an electronic control system support the rider when performing tricks and back-wheel biking. Different modes can be set using a smartphone or directly on the e-bike – either “Power Wheelie” mode, with adjustable wheelie angle for less skilled bikers or “Balanced Wheelie” mode for sporting challenges. In “Balanced Wheelie” mode, the electronic control system maintains the rider’s balance, by compensating the biker’s movements forwards or backwards via the electric motor. This means the rider can influence the bike’s speed by shifting weight: if you lean forwards the bike picks up speed, and if you lean back it slows. You select “Training” mode if you want to keep your performance constant for training purposes.

Today’s top trials riders use special bikes or motorcycles with no seat to obstruct the riders movement. The e-bike Wörthersee includes a feature which allows the rider to lower the seat flush with the frame at the press of a button. Much of the bike is constructed from a mix of ultra lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. LED lighting is integrated into the frame. Electric power comes from a 2.3 kW motor, the most powerful currently installed on an e-bike. A top speed of 50 mph is possible with a maximum range of 31-44 miles.

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