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A self-driving, electrically-assisted bike designed to make commuting better

Our Prototypes column introduces new vehicle concepts and presents visuals from designers who illustrate the ideas. Some of them will be extensions of existing concepts, others will be new, some will be production ready, and others really far-fetched.

The concept

The Zedix is a driverless electrically-assisted commuting bike. It can alter the rider's position between 'full steam' biking mode or a more relaxed 'chill out' seated position to ride around the city.

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Zedix Charles Bombardier Charles Bombardier  

Zedix Charles Bombardier Charles Bombardier  

The background

In late March, Michael Crowe contacted me with an idea based on the Jacknife morphing car concept developed during the shooting of the Cadillac 'Dare greatly' video in Toronto.

Michael suggested creating a concept where a cyclist would hang from straps inside an exoskeleton built of tubing. Although the Zedix is not exactly like this, Michael initiated the idea and provided feedback.

How it works

You start your work day by taking position on your Zedix to commute to work. The Zedix is electrically assisted by a 15Kw engine, so you could ride it at speeds more than 100 km/h on the freeway. Because it's driverless, you can concentrate on your morning exercise instead of your commute. You would be working hard, cycling and sweating, which is exactly the goal: to stay in shape and push yourself.

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The leaned (horizontal) position, which reminds us of the pistons on a steam locomotive, would transfer a maximum amount of power to a large rear wheel. The driver would be facing down, but he would be wearing a VR Helmet and could look straight ahead at the road , work, or even play a game while the Zedix drives itself.

The range and price would depend on battery packages . It would be possible to buy a range of extending packs or various types of motors. An optional solar cell top could help recharge batteries on the go, and other means of energy transfer could be used if they are available in your city. Of course physical power from the cyclist itself would remain the best source of energy.

When you enter the city, the Zedix could morph into a leaned back seated position and let you cool down while you make your final 'cool down' approach to work, the gym, or wherever you are going.

Ideally, the leg motion would be from chest to full extension like an elliptical trainer. The transfer from 'full steam' mode to 'chill out' should be accomplished without having to disembark from the Zedix, and of course the vehicle would be certified to ride on public roads and on bike paths.

What's it's used for

The Zedix would be used to commute and work out at the same time. You would be able to immerse yourself in a game that would synchronise itself with the road, the surrounding traffic, your health, etc.

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The Zedix would adapt its riding style based on your preferences. There is a market for smarter bikes, and the Zedix could fit in that category.

The designer

I would like to thank Adolfo Esquivel for creating the renderings of the Zedix. Esquivel is a Colombian industrial designer, currently attending a master's in transportation design at the UQAM of Montreal. He works as a freelance designer based in Montreal and also created the design of the Firesound flying saucer / firefighting drone and the Teatrix robotic furniture concept.

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