Making available -realistically- a bicycle working "intermodally" with all other types of transportation. Provide an elegant tool for a fluid and pleasurable individual urban mobility, condensed in a volume and a weight a fraction of the current "folding bicycles".
Freeing a Frog Prince.
Express all the technical and economic potential hidden in a market sector of poor appeal, giving it new life producing a modern Personal Vehicle.
The key: severing all ties with the straitjacket of the bicycle industry -a modular supply chain- in favor of a contemporary, vertically integrated, automotive-type supply-chain, economically efficient, scalable, environmentally certified, low-maintenance and technologically reliable.
A LIFESTYLE PRODUCT
An innovative model of bicycle, ultralightweight, electrically assisted, super-compactable.
The structure unfolds-folds automatically, in the style of convertible car tops, or landing gears, expanding into a rigid space-frame. A process innovation in the service of a sustainable -and cool- urban mobility experience.
ADVANTAGES OVER THE CURRENT MARKET PLAYERS
1. A 30-litre compacted volume, in spite of a normal bicycle ergonomics usable by 155-192 cm-tall cyclists (5th Woman to 99th Man percentiles).
In comparison the current most compact-folding bike (1% of world folder's market), folds in 90 litres. Most other products fold in 150-210 litres.
2. A powerful, miniaturized power-assist module, custom made by Swiss Maxon Motor (http://www.maxonmotor.com).
3. A weight around the HALF of the average of current, non-power-assisted folding bicycles.
4. Its easy and user-friendly operation, storage and handling, lowers significantly the "ownership burden" of a bicycle for the urban dweller.
The innovations implemented to reduce weight and volume also fit the Industrial Greening objectives:
• Integrated design
• Hyerarchical assembly / Lean manufacturing
• Reduced Material and Part lists for "Waste minimization" and end-of-life factory recycle
• Halving of the material per-product unit
• Short value-chain and logistics
• Better assembly of small parts
• Small package warehousing and shipping
• High Value-per-Volume shipping ratio
• Modern logistics in distribution
• First Bicycle using Product Lifeycle Management" (PLM).
OPENNESS TO TECHNOLOGY EVOLUTION
• It constitutes an "open development platform", a new "product archetype", particularly suited to incorporate the new materials (bi-dimensional, graphene-like) and technologies (3D printing) of the impending "Third Industrial Revolution".
• BIKE INTERMODAL assumption:
technologic advancements - providing newer, better, higher performing products - can do as much and sometimes more than persuasion, obligation or deterrence to change behaviours and life-styles.
• The project aims at establishing the intermodal cycling as a synergic "third pillar" along Policy-making and Infrastuctural development to promote bicycle use.
• It also represents, in a scenario of ever growing metropolitan areas everywhere in the world, a form of flexible, near-zero energy, micro-mobility, empowering the individual.
The product targets several market segments::
• Urban commuters
• Car range extender (OEM/Aftermarket)
• Fleet sales: Car Rentals, Cruise ships, Hotels
• Bike Rental services
• Corporate Mobility Managers
• Nautical accessories
• General Aviation
• RV accessory (OEM/Aftermarket)
• Emergency Mobility Module (Civil Protection, Military etc.)
Marzotto Start-Up competition "From the idea to the enterprise" prize
Marzotto Start-Up competition "Talent of Ifìdeas" prize
EU Grant "The Minimal Vehicle", LIFE Program
EU Grant "Bike Intermodal", 7th Framework Program
"Signalled Project" XXI° Compasso d'Oro
Philip Morris Science & Technology Prize Italy