IoT Blog
IoT Blog

The e-Bike of Your Electric Dreams: A High-Performance, Eco-Friendly Bicycle that Keeps Riders Connected via the IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is inspiring innovation in nearly every industry, including transportation. The IoT is powering smarter transit and fleet management systems, while automakers are creating connected cars that deliver more sophisticated in-car navigation, infotainment and other services. Volkswagen’s Car-Net platform, for example, provides a variety of internet-based in-vehicle services, including remote vehicle access, roadside assistance, diagnostics and maintenance, and the ability to set speed and boundary alerts. Now, a Brazilian company, Electric Dreams, is bringing the IoT to electric bicycles. 

Founded by Lucas Di Grassi, a former world champion of the Formula E electric racing series, Electric Dreams wants to transform the way people move by developing smarter, cleaner and less expensive technologies and solutions for high performance electric vehicles. To do this, the company is leveraging a development center located in Brazil’s São José dos Campos Technology Park, which provides a world-class facility for developing, implementing and validating the company’s new technologies. Electric Dreams’ electric car, for example, was built using computer simulations and laboratory tests used in aircraft development and includes an active control system using vectorized torque and a carbon fiber monocoque to balance high performance and safety. 

A driving force behind Electric Dreams is the desire to power its vehicles with zero emissions, helping not just to reduce greenhouse gases but also to improve air quality, leading to fewer health problems associated with air pollution. For example, the company develops its products to comply with the Brazil Ministry of the Environment’s National Policy on Urban Mobility, which provides guidelines on using renewable energy, reducing pollution and mitigating the environmental, social and economic costs of transporting people and cargo in cities.

When EDG, a subsidiary of Electric Dreams, decided to develop an electric bicycle, the EDG Niobium e-Bike, the goal was to provide a user experience and benefits similar to the company’s other high-performance vehicles. For the e-Bike, that meant adding a variety of performance and location features, including the ability to track energy usage, a real-time display of distance traveled and travel range before the next required charge, and notification of mechanical issues. In adding these capabilities, EDG did not want to compromise its environmental goals or its standards for keeping down the cost and weight of its vehicles. As a result, the company needed to find a lightweight connectivity solution that would still deliver the performance and reliability the company demanded in every other aspect of its products.

Sierra Wireless Solutions for the IoT

EDG chose to include Sierra Wireless’ BC Series Bluetooth IoT modules in the Niobium e-Bike. Built on a compact, industrial-grade form factor, the BC Series offers full regulatory certification, integrated antenna and embedded Bluetooth stack with a simple UART interface – features that help Electric Dreams get to market faster. The Sierra Wireless modules provide stable communication over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and a smooth migration path for the future use of Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) Cat-M or LTE-M cellular technologies. 

Today, the EDG Niobium e-Bike weighs just 17 kilograms and can cover up to 100 kilometers on a single charge. The EDG Niobium mobile app, connected through BLE to the e-Bike, provides real-time information on pedal speed and cadence, distance traveled, distance remaining before needing to charge and a fault indicator.

According to EDG, the use of Bluetooth IoT modules reduced product development time by at least 10 percent, and the company is now working on a cellular version of the EDG e-Bike using Sierra Wireless’ HL Series LPWA modules. These modules, which offer global and enhanced coverage on a single module and come with an integrated GNSS receiver for tracking and location-based services, ensure scalability and will reduce the time-to-market for additional capabilities, such as a bike locator and geo-fencing for automatic locking if the bike goes beyond a specified perimeter.

Best of all, Electric Dreams can continue bringing innovation to the bicycle industry while conforming to new environmental protection laws that will be implemented worldwide over the next five years, so the company can move forward with plans for a global rollout.

If you’re like Electric Dreams and plan to leverage the IoT to revolutionize an industry, read the Electric Dreams case study and be sure to Start with Sierra to learn more about the technologies that will enable you to turn your plan into reality.