Amongst the risks faced by urban cyclists is the possibility of being struck from behind by an automobile. The Cobra ebike is designed to reduce that risk, with a rearview camera system that warns of impending impacts.
Designed by Italian mobility startup TO.TEM, the single-speed electric-assist bicycle features the company’s TO.TEM Eye system. The technology has already been utilized in the firm’s three-wheeled Lynx electric scooter.
Hardware-wise, Eye incorporates a rear-facing video camera which is mounted beneath the Cobra’s saddle. Utilizing a Bluetooth connection, that camera continuously transmits live video to the rider’s handlebar-mounted smartphone, where it’s displayed on an app screen – in this way, the setup serves as the electronic equivalent of a rearview mirror.
Additionally, however, the video is constantly analyzed by AI-based software. If that software determines that a fast-approaching vehicle is on a collision course with the bike, it warns the rider by sounding an audible alarm on their phone. They can then hopefully take evasive action.
While we have seen other rear-collision warning systems for bikes before, they’ve typically incorporated radar, not computer vision technology.
Aside from its Eye system, some of the Cobra’s other features include an aluminum frame with a carbon fork; SRAM hydraulic disc brakes; 700 x 42C wheels; a Gates Carbon belt-drive drivetrain; and turn-by-turn navigation via the app.
The rider’s pedalling power is augmented by a 250-watt rear hub motor, which will take them to a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). That motor is powered by a down-tube-incorporated 250-Wh lithium battery, one 4-hour charge of which should reportedly be good for a range of up to 75 km (47 mi). The whole bike is claimed to weigh 15.5 kg (34 lb).
Should you be interested, the Cobra will be the subject of an Indiegogo campaign beginning later this week – potential backers can register for first access to an early bird discount via the preview page. We’re told that pledges for complete bikes will start at €3,999 (about US$4,168), with retail pricing subsequently going up to €4,999 ($5,211).