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5G-connected fat ebike dodges obstacles with AI-driven ADAS

The first 5G-enabled ebike has rolled into Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, courtesy of Long Island-based mobile device company Orbic. The fat-tire pedal-assist ride also comes with a bunch of cameras and AI crash detection.

Until now, the focus of Orbic’s business has been budget smartphones, a few laptops and tablets along with mobile hotspots, a LTE smartwatch and some wireless earbuds. Now the company has suddenly added mobility to its “innovation pipeline” with a tech-packed electric fatbike.

Details are in pretty short supply at this point, but we do know that the ebike’s Android brains are reported to be powered by a Qualcomm octa-core chipset, and the ebike is claimed to be the first with cooked-in 5G connectivity – which is “powered by Verizon” – plus there’s “AI object avoidance and collision detection technology.”

The Orbic 5G ebike comes with an AI-powered obstacle avoidance and collision detection system
The Orbic 5G ebike comes with an AI-powered obstacle avoidance and collision detection system


This works with a 140-degree ADAS 2-megapixel camera sensor at the rear that keeps watch on approaching traffic, and triggers audible and visual alerts if anything gets too close for comfort – though could potentially gather collision evidence too. Those visuals will appear on a tasty looking mid-handlebar touch display that runs 7 diagonal inches and is reckoned to offer HD color resolution.

The screen is where the rider can quick check battery status, speed, distance and navigation features, and is home to an 8-megapixel selfiecam to supposedly facilitate video chats, which seems at odds to the overall “rider safety” message put out by Orbic.

Also to the front of the ebike is a “tailor-made” 64-megapixel camera for livestreaming adventures without needing to invest in a separate actioncam. “In addition, bike-to-bike communication creates a fully immersive experience and communication between riders for increased safety and camaraderie,” said Orbic in a press release, with the system allowing you to “see where your friends are in real-time” on the handlebar display.

The company says that the ebike’s smarts can even tell whether you’re wearing protection for your noggin, and will only power up when a helmet is detected. Riders can remote lock/unlock, track over GPS and set geofencing limits via a companion mobile app. And the 5G connectivity can see the ebike serve as a high-speed mobile hotspot “at a picnic, on the trail, and even at home at a backyard barbeque.”

The show model at Orbic's MWC booth features a Bafang mid-drive motor, a "long-life" battery, Kenda fat tires and a 9-speed groupset
The show model at Orbic’s MWC booth features a Bafang mid-drive motor, a “long-life” battery, Kenda fat tires and a 9-speed groupset


The display model at MWC features a rebadged Bafang mid-drive motor for pedal-assist up to 38 mph (45 km/h) and a 960-Wh removable downtube battery of unspecified per-charge range but that’s confirmed as supporting fast charging. There’s LED lighting front and back, Kenda fat tires, full fenders, what looks like a 9-speed gearset and a rear cargo rack for city/urban/trail versatility. Disc braking, a suspension fork and a side kickstand complete the picture, though the promo video on Orbic’s website shows a low-step variant is also in the works.

“By integrating 5G connectivity and AI technology, we aim to redefine the riding experience, making it safer, more connected, and environmentally responsible whether on city streets, in suburban neighborhoods or the challenging terrain of mountain trails,” said company CEO, Mike Narula. “The 5G e-Bike represents a significant leap forward in electronic mobility, and we are excited about bringing this new technology to cities across the globe.” Us availability has been penciled in for Q3 this year, but Orbic has yet to spill the beans on how much.

Source: Orbic

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