The original Urbikes. Photo Credit: Modular BPS
What characteristics should the perfect public bicycle have? A minimum of mechanical maintenance, maintenance-free shaft transmission, solid tires to avoid punctures, a theft-free design and an adjustable seat for every hight. It should also be ergonomically designed so that any person can cycle upright and comfortably. It seems, Spanish designer Eduard Sentís got it right with Urbikes. However, as if this award-winning bike wasn't enough, his company Modular BPS is now working on an electric Urbikes, the Urbikes Trapper, which will be officially presented on November 25th 2010 at Living Labs Global in Copenhagen.Urbikes Trapper is meant to be the solution to all currently existing problems related to public bike sharing systems, such as Barcelona's Bicing or other public bicycle sharing systems. It is based on the same system as public transportation such as bus routes, and could therefore be called bicycle route in order to cover traffic jammed journeys in a cleaner and faster way.
First official image of Urbikes Trapper. Image credit: Modular BPS
How is that possible, you ask, if those journey can be long and therefore often not suitable for most people on a bicycle? To make it easy for everyone to cycle, Modular BPS has created the Urbikes Trapper; electric and autonomous. The cyclist will be capable of generating 80% of the energy the bike consumes, with the remaining 20% being charged at the bike sharing stations, in only 10 minutes. Moreover, the stations are planned to have solar panels so they don't have to be connected to the grid.
Urbikes are small and lightweight. Image credit: Modular BPS
Eduard Sentís explains that Urbikes Trapper is not a 4th generation PBM (Public Bicycle Management), but rather the first Intelligent Public Bicycle Management (IPBM), that solves even distribution, logistics, and offers bonus points for the user, who ultimately provides 80% of the energy for the bikes. The system's intelligent software will be able to learn the users' movements and predict where in the system bicycles are needed depending on the day of the week or time, whether it's a bank holiday or a working day.
Urbikes Public Bicycle Management. Image credit: Modular BPS
This new system will be tested in the Netherlands, and will be entirely manufactured in Spain. The team behind this European project is Luud Schimmelpennink in the Netherlands and Eduard Sentís from Modular Urbikes in Spain, who hope to launch the first Urbikes Trapper in March 2011. Urbikes Trapper promises a well-working system that can finally not only replace the private transport such as cars and motorbikes, but even reduce the need for taxis and buses. Modular BPS Urbikes