Company: Milano Bike Srl
About Milano Bike Srl
Milano Bike was established in 2013 with a mission to promote sustainable mobility and make high-performance e-bikes a reality for its customers. They are dedicated to promoting the use of bikes as a daily, sustainable mode of transportation.
To achieve this cultural shift, they believe in creating a supportive ecosystem for riders. This includes offering innovative materials and technologies, unique and personalized solutions, and services that prioritize safety and comfort. Their commitment is to deliver this level of support to all their customers, whether they are individuals or businesses.
MilanoBike is designed for individuals from various backgrounds who value sustainable transportation alternatives and the benefits of cycling. This includes commuters who use bikes daily as a solution to traffic congestion and limited parking in cities, seniors and people with mobility issues who want to make cycling more accessible, recreational riders who want to tackle challenging terrain with ease, and environmentally conscious consumers who seek a mode of transportation with zero emissions.
The project’s goal was to enhance the common bicycle with the latest sensing technology without disrupting its design, ensuring seamless integration. One of the key requests was to develop a smart lock with short- and long-range capability, that could be controlled by the user via an app.
Challenges of this project
This project presented some interesting challenges of both a creative and engineering nature. The form factor, weight, and integration of batteries and sensors, as well as connectivity and durability of sensors, were all factors that needed to be considered. Maintaining the signature form of their bikes and not having to compromise was important to Milano Bike. The sensors were expected to add to the function of the bike without taking away from their design.
Connectivity is a crucial concern for the bike to be able to communicate with the rider and with other devices. For example, connecting the bike to a mobile app can allow the rider to track their performance, monitor battery life, and access GPS navigation. It also serves security purposes, such as remote tracking of the bike in the case of theft. The challenge in establishing connectivity was to ensure that communication between the bike and other devices would be reliable, secure, and seamless. This is important for rider safety in man-down situations, as your position is constantly uploaded to your riding app.
This was a challenge due to the need for robust and flexible communication protocols, as well as compatibility with different types of devices and platforms. Additionally, ensuring that the connectivity features did not add complexity to the bike was important, considering the varying levels of tech-savviness in their target audience.
Solutions we provided
The NeuraTrack technology was chosen for its precise tracking and connectivity capabilities, offering the benefits of GPS/GNSS geo-location tracking and LoraWAN for low-power, long-range, and low-cost connectivity. This created a system with low battery consumption, reducing the range anxiety some cyclists experience when using e-bikes over extended distances.
The NeuraDrive library, using IMU data, was implemented to automatically detect and recognize events such as braking, falls, turning, and motion metrics (cycling dynamics). An alarm system was also integrated to alert the rider in case of theft or tampering, triggered by IMU data.
Frameblock, the antitheft system integrated into the bike frame, with two flexible steel wires wrapped in silicon rubber to secure the bike. The Frameblock technology is integrated with sensors, connects to a mobile app, and communicates with the smart lock via Bluetooth. This allows owners to access control features for securing their bike.
The dashboard and mobile app (which function using LoRaWan communication) provide real-time location of the bicycle and alert the rider of tampering or fall events through an IoT cloud infrastructure. In such cases a siren will sound, and a message will be sent to the rider’s mobile phone.
In addition, LED smart lights were installed on the handlebars, controlled by the rider, to signal turns and other events of interest, such as the alarm.
This collaboration successfully created a line of e-bikes that are both high-performing and user-friendly, with reliable connectivity, no matter where adventure takes them. It also provides peace of mind for e-bike users, knowing that their investment is protected as they undergo their daily commutes and routines.
The success in creating a line of e-bikes that promote sustainable mobility serves as evidence of the importance of innovative materials, and sensing technologies in the development of eco-friendly transportation alternatives.