Grand Rapids-based TerraTrike
has partnered with Troy, Michigan's AutoBike
to design the world's first "smart trike."
The "smart trike" is part of TerraTrike's Rover series and features technology that was developed by AutoBike, a firm that has invented an automatic shifting bicycle.
The new trike, which will be available in early 2014, has several innovative features, including the ability to sense when to shift for the rider and a smartphone app with Bluetooth syncing to fine-tune the overall riding experience. The goal is to free riders from having to manually shift, no matter how fast or slow they are traveling, regardless of terrain.
Michelle Oswald, TerraTrike's marketing assistant, says the new trike will appeal to the gadget-loving, early tech adopters as well as the individuals who are looking for a simple biking experience. "There are individuals that we know for sure who will be interested that are not avid bikers. They don't understand the mechanics. All they want is a comfortable ride and don't want to worry about shifting."
From AutoBike's perspective, the collaboration was very logical, as both organizations work with a similar demographic, and perfect culture fit. "The first time we came in contact with TerraTrike was early in 2013. We had a conversation, and we hit it off," says Sean Simpson, AutoBike CEO.
Both organizations are very optimistic about the industry and the upcoming year. Simpson sees an increased emphasis on biking infrastructure throughout the state and Oswald says they anticipate a pent-up demand for trike sales in 2014. "We anticipate this coming season will be a big one."
To learn more about AutoBike you can visit their site here.
To learn more about TerraTrike, you can visit their site here.
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor