Mass. high-tech startup hopes to change biking

By By RODRIQUE NGOWI

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.

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