MA high-tech startup hopes to change biking

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) A Massachusetts startup company is launching a new device that transforms almost any bicycle into an electric-hybrid vehicle.

Superpedestrian Inc. of Cambridge says its so-called Copenhagen Wheel is a self-contained unit that replaces the rear hub of a bicycle wheel. It’s packed with an onboard computer, batteries and sensors that determine when a biker needs a boost.

The device captures energy when a rider pedals, brakes or goes downhill and uses the power stored in its batteries to allow bikes to travel up to 20 mph when it senses that a cyclist needs help.

Co-inventor Assaf Biderman says the Copenhagen Wheel is a viable alternative for city dwellers who already own bikes and don’t want to crawl in car traffic.

It was developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SENSEable City Lab.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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