A bike, with computer-like intelligence, which can never be stolen and has puncture-proof tyres could be in everyday use by 2029, says British Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman.
Chris Boardman hopes companies will have the courage to invest in something different.
By Sasjkia Otto [12 Aug 2009]
Mr Boardman, 40, a former racing cyclist who won an individual pursuit gold medal at the 1992 Olympics, has unveiled a design that makes bikes as “intelligent” as computers.
Its system incorporates an “unbreakable” locking device that allows only the owner to open it via fingerprint recognition.
Other features include puncture-proof self-inflating tyres, a mini computer that counts calories as the pedals turn, a spokeless, lightweight carbon fibre frame and solar-rechargeable lights.
A battery-assisted motor, run by solar panels, takes over the pedalling after a long day and music accompanies the ride.
The bike could be created were a company willing to produce it, insists Mr Boardman, as "everything in it already exists".
"It’s simply a question of pulling it all together.
“If there was a budget behind it, it could be ready in two years," he said.
If Mr Boardman’s bike went on sale today, it would cost £500,000. Once the bicycles are mass produced, they could sell for around £2,000, he said.
He stresses that the project’s viability depends on how many people are willing to buy the bike. He believes people are sceptical of the design, because they are hesitant to draw attention to themselves in public.
Mr Boardman predicts it may take up to 20 years for people to become comfortable with the concept.
“People like different, but if it’s too different it’s risky,” he says.