The next step in urban commuting
Fall/Winter 2020 Quarantine Project
Project Duration: 12 Weeks
Since my freshman year of college I've always commuted to and from class riding my bicycle. For me and millions of others, biking is the fastest, most efficient, and environmentally friendly way of getting around; That number is set to double in the coming decades as cities and urban centers continue to grow rapidly. The design goal behind Pilot was to create a more luxurious, next generation bike that offers high tech features for the cities of the future.
PART 01 RESEARCH
When approaching this project, I asked myself, what will biking look like in the next 5-10 years? To answer that question I conducted a wide gamut of research which included interviews, product testing and online investigating. Interviewees ranged from bike shop owners to students who ride their bikes to class on a daily basis. Product testing consisted of hours of biking using various bicycles and identifying opportunities for growth.
PART 02 EXPLORATION
A next generation commuter bike needed to have a striking and elegant design while also fulfilling certain user needs and expectations. From early on I knew I wanted to narrow the design down to a hubless bike due to its eye-catching aesthetic as well as the added functionality. I explored various forms from angular and industrial looks to more fluid and organic shapes. I laid out a large array of possible design directions in the form of sketches and quick 'n dirty 3D models to narrow down to final design direction.
PART 03 ENGINEERING
To push a hubless design forward I had to consult with friends and collogues with expertise in mechanical engineering. Their knowledge and contributions proved vital in informing my design.
Hubless Gear Design
With an off center axle, and addition gear was required for the wheels to spin at the proper rate while pedaling naturally. Pedaling is further assisted with an onboard motor that provides an extra boost when the throttle is pressed.
PART 03 MODELING
For a one man job, modeling each part took up the largest portion of time on the project. The design direction chosen during the concept phase was a good starting point. However, it took countless hours of drawing, modelling and reviewing before a final design emerged.
PART 05 FINAL DESIGN
After many edits and alterations, the design was ready for rednering. This was a great time to further explore Colors, Materials and Finishes (CMF) for Pilot. I decided to stick with 7005 series aluminum because of its overall strength and light-weight which makes it ideal for a bike.
Pilot allows users to feel like they're riding into the future. It provides an elegant design, with increased functionality and next generation performance.
Pilots companion app provides full access and control to its wide range of features. Users can use their phones to lock and unlock their bikes, control the built in lights as well as lock and unclock the battery module.
For real time on-board guidance, users can dock their phones on Pilots center consol. Phones are safely secured by spring adjusted rubber grips which accommodate for phones of various sizes. While connected using the app, Pilot can provide street navigation as well as information regarding the bike such as speed, distance, calories burned, and more. While docked, Pilot will also wirelessly charge supported phones.
After extensive use, when the battery runs low users can unlock and detach the on board battery for external charging. With two batteries users can swap them out so a fully charged battery is always availble.
To ensure users safety at night, Pilot Bike uses a tandem of lights and wheel reflectors to keep the rider visible during night time rides.
Brackets attached to the rear housing allow for a variety of attachments to be connected to Pilot. Below showcase two attachment, the first (left) is an expanded storage bin which allows the users to carry more cargo. Second (right) is an adaptor which allows existing third-party bicycle accessories to attach to Pilot such as kids trailers or wagons.