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To begin, we were asked to develop a broad concept under 1 out of 3 categories. Nature, eating, or light in Berlin were the choices. I chose light in part because I believe solar energy could play a big part in my design, and also because there is a large number of cyclists in Berlin that I believe could benefit from a lighting system to protect them and make their presence at night more apparent.
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In Berlin, there's an average of 10 cyclist deaths per year. This shouldn't be happening. These deaths are due to multiple reasons, but can be often caused by zero visibility of the bicycles from a driver's perspective. This could be changed with integration of a lighting system to alert drivers of the bike's presence.
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Using an established, succesful and reliable bike platform, I believe there's a higher chance for success. I chose the Bullitt Bike due to its increasing popularity and success. Cargo bikes are a clean alternative to cars, with zero emissions and lots of room for storage. Integration of an electric assist motor, safety features, bluetooth connectivity, solar charging and a rentable platform could make Berlin a cleaner, safer city to ride in.
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I brainstormed different ways to integrate all of these qualities into a bike, and then began thinking about how to package and protect all of it. All the while, considering how it would be used publicly. The charging station was of equal importance. It needed to be modular, relatively small, and easy to interact with.
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The E-Z Bike is my solution.
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Using the E-Z Bike app, you can pay to rent the bike for 24 hours and it will unlock the bike of your choice from the station. The station can also be located within the app.
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Once your phone connects to the E-Z Bike through bluetooth, if you stray too far from it, it will automatically engage the brakes and lock the cargo box.
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The E-Z Bike will also alert you if the electric assist battery becomes low. When this happens, you can switch the bike to charge mode so that you can charge the bike while pedaling. The electric assist can become vital when transporting heavy loads, as it can reduce the energy expended by the rider over 50% and make riding more enjoyable.
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Features of the E-Z Bike include road projected warning lights that stay illuminated to make the bike's presence much more visible at night. They also function as blinkers. A projection headlight that dims automatically for on-coming traffic. A GPS system that links directly to your phone's navigation system, and a substantial horn so people know you're coming.
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Once your purchased time is up, or your battery is low, you can drop off your E-Z Bike at the nearest charging station. Once you park, the bike locks and begins charging through induction.
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The color of the stations platform will change to green to signify it's fully charged.
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The E-Z Bike also has plenty of space for advertisements. This can help fund maintenance and general upstart costs.

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