martes, febrero 18, 2014

I need a hero !

SimplECity – featherweight next generation electric motorcycle

The SimplECity is an electric two-wheeler conceived as an efficient, reliable, practical urban commuter, and is hence not built to withstand the higher speeds and different operational need of motorcycles designed to be comfortable in urban, freeway and rural environs.

Even the press material elucidates something never before seen from a motorcycle or car manufacturer, but which is unerringly true – the acknowledgement that power usage increases exponentially with speed. Manufacturers don’t usually promote this aspect because they are building motorcycles designed to withstand two and three times the legal speed limits and building a motorcycle to those design criteria comes with some ridiculous overheads in cost, weight, fuel economy, wear-and-tear and a host of other compromises and downsides which are counterproductive to its performance in the real world.

One of the themes evident across the range new machines that have come from EBR’s design studios is the infusion of a healthy dose of realism and real world practicality.

Existing manufacturers have legacy dealer networks, spare parts warehouses and supply chains that must have continued lifeblood – if you replace all that with two-wheelers that are so light that they reduce the consumption of consumables and spare parts, don’t require servicing nearly as often, can have any illnesses diagnosed downloading an app and plugging in the smartphone in your pocket, you’ll disrupt the old world order. Hero has many advantages in starting from scratch in setting up a new global dealer network, and it is to be hoped that it leverages the new technologies available in everyone’s pocket (the smartphone) to the maximum to enable things that existing dealership networks cannot.

The Hero SimplECity
The SimplECity is elegant and lightweight and has the potential to provide urban transport at a fraction of the cost of existing commuter machinery powered by the infernal internal combustion engine. The big difference is however, that the Japanese are tentative in ever releasing the designs they have created for fear of cruelling existing marketplaces.

Hero will not be nearly as reticent to get its new creations to market as the Japanese powers as it has a whole new range to produce and the rapid design-test-produce pipeline that has been created for the new range is now in place, and the promise of the machinery created by this new thought process has already shown that it has

Without the additional power required for sustained freeway speeds, (or two or more times those speeds as with most Japanese and European commuter motorcycles) the SimplECity has been constructed far lighter than traditional motorcycles and tips the scales at just 35 kg.

Many ideas previously seen in Japanese prototype electric bikes are evident on the SimplECity, such as the use of the rider’s smartphone mounted on the handlebars as a dashboard, which is achieved by a “Hero SimplECity” smartphone app which we don’t know much about at this stage.

The Hero ion
Hero ion – two-wheel-drive, hubless, hydrogen fuel cell prototype with advanced telematics

The ion is a futuristic technological smorgasbord in every respect, and by far the most forward-looking transportation design on display at Auto Expo. Indeed, the bike’s weight of just 100 kg belies its technological content.

The ion employs a hydrogen fuel cell to produce electrical power, which is stored in Li Air batteries and supercapacitors, then transferred to the hubless, zero-friction maglev wheels.

The Hero ion
Other futuristic technologies employed in the ion include:

A Vehicle Control Module: The vehicle is controlled by light finger touches controls built in the handle grips. Commands from the fingertips are sent to VCM (Vehicle Control Module) where they are converted to drive signals to PBS (power, braking and steering) systems.
Ride by Wire: This integrates multiple on-board electronic traffic sensors for collision detection and avoidance. Variable two wheel steering works in synergy with the rider driving style and vehicle dynamics in order to optimize handling. VSA system (vehicle situational awareness) keep tracks of the surrounding traffic flow and make corrections to the PBS systems as needed. VSA system overrides any lower priority communications when traffic density becomes significant.
The Hero ion with yet another new suspension and steering system
Hubless Wheels: The airy, open wheels contain electrical windings in the inside that act as a stator. The tire is mounted on a hidden magnetic wheel that acts as a rotor which floats on the stator ring with magnetic levitation technology that works with zero friction. These hubless electric traction motor also double up as brakes.
Rider information: Core basic vehicle information is available in the compact instrument cluster, but full information and communication is transmitted to the rider’s helmet.
M-Link: An advanced anthropomorphic linkage suspension technology that provides incredible control of the road and an exhilarating driving experience. It features an electronic force mapping through sensors that manage all suspension components. These sensors continuously vary the power of electromagnet that controls the damping characteristics of the suspension in real time. It seamlessly integrates with other vehicle systems including the Ride by Wire steering to provide user profiled ride characteristics with road vision controlled damping.
The Hero ion
Flex Axis Steering: ion steers through rotating the front and rear wheel and suspension systems around the pivots on the center power module. The multi-axis gyros and accelerometers keep stability at all times. It works in conjunction with the Ride by Wire and M-Link, sensing rider position and steering inputs to properly position the motorcycle in the optimal position for previously impossible vehicle maneuvers.
Li – Air Batteries: The Lithium-air battery is the lightest and highest energy density battery ever produced. Ion has the energy storage density of 12 kW·h/kg (comparable to gasoline). The technology uses oxidation of lithium with oxygen molecules in the air and a revolutionary new cathode that uses carbon nano tubes infused with a platinum and rhodium catalyst using a process which creates extremely high surface area per unit volume.

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