Group of Michigan students create rentable 'smart bike' - FOX 13 News

Group of Michigan students create rentable 'smart bike'

Posted: Updated:
A2B Bikeshare's "smart bike" features a touch screen. A2B Bikeshare's "smart bike" features a touch screen.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WJBK) -

It's clean, green and good for your health.  Riding a bike is a popular way to roll, but what if you don't have one?  A group of University of Michigan students came up with the startup A2B Bikeshare to solve that problem.

"Bike share trips replace car trips.  They create healthier people by being active in the community.  When you are riding, you aren't driving saving CO2," said Ansgar Strother.

He is a computer engineering major who took a look at bike sharing for a class project, then decided to make it a business.  He and his team designed a prototype of a smart bike with built-in solar panel, lock and touch screen that people can rent for about $5 an hour.

"Now that the bike is smart, you can use the touch screen on it to do things like Google maps, guided tours for tourists and proximity advertisements to help pay through the system's operation making it more affordable for communities to put in," Strother said.

The bike itself is expensive.  It costs about $2,000.  But the students say thefts are rare.  In Denver, which has 500 bikes for rent, there was only theft in a year.  Just in case, there is a GPS tracking device welded onto the bike that is hard to remove.

"In order to check out the bike, you have to have your credit card information entered in," Strother explained.  "That way if you don't return the bike -- it gets lost, stolen, damaged beyond use -- you're then responsible by your credit card."

Ann Arbor actually has a separate bike sharing program in the works.  The smart bike wasn't ready when that was being developed, but the A2B Bikeshare guys are talking with other cities, including Lansing, to get their bike on the road.

U of M also has 15 bikes available for students for $5 a day, $11 a weekend or $75 per semester.  Riders also get a lock and a helmet.

Other schools and communities are also looking into bike sharing.  It's an eco-friendly idea that could soon come to a city near you.

  • Robin SchwartzRobin SchwartzMore>>

  • PACE program tax credits allow for law firm building's green makeover

    PACE program tax credits allow for law firm building's green makeover

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:27 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:27:40 GMT
    From the ground, the 1-800-Law-Firm building on Lahser between I-696 and Northwestern looks like a typical office building. Until you look from a different angle.Fox 2 climbed to the roof on a sunny afternoon to check out these newly installed solar panels, expected to offset half of the building's energy costs.They're part of a $1 million green makeover, but the Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE program, makes them more affordable. Kevin O'Connor, marketing director from the 1-800-Law-F...
    From the ground, the 1-800-Law-Firm building on Lahser between I-696 and Northwestern looks like a typical office building. Until you look from a different angle.Fox 2 climbed to the roof on a sunny afternoon to check out these newly installed solar panels, expected to offset half of the building's energy costs.They're part of a $1 million green makeover, but the Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE program, makes them more affordable. Kevin O'Connor, marketing director from the 1-800-Law-F...
  • One dead, one wounded in armed robbery of Detroit tire shop

    One dead, one wounded in armed robbery of Detroit tire shop

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 7:24 AM EDT2014-08-26 11:24:56 GMT
    The Easy Pay Tire Shop on Livernois and Tireman was closed for business Monday as family members grieved the shooting death of Michael Cople.
    The Easy Pay Tire Shop on Livernois and Tireman was closed for business Monday as family members grieved the shooting death of Michael Cople.
  • Cleanup ongoing for flood victims coping with aftermath

    Cleanup ongoing for flood victims coping with aftermath

    Monday, August 25 2014 7:16 PM EDT2014-08-25 23:16:31 GMT
    The cleanup is ongoing after the past two weeks since metro Detroit was overwhelmed with rain and flooding. At the start of week three for flood victims, the healing is just getting started.
    The cleanup is ongoing after the past two weeks since metro Detroit was overwhelmed with rain and flooding. At the start of week three for flood victims, the healing is just getting started.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • All you need to know: Arts, Beats and Eats 2014

    All you need to know: Arts, Beats and Eats 2014

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:44 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:44:11 GMT
    Celebrating its 17th year and returning to the bustling streets of Royal Oak from Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, Ford Arts, Beats Eats presented by FirstMerit Bank will entertain thousands of visitors from across the region with its outstanding music line-up, stellar arts programming, mouthwatering selection of food, and a number of new attractions this Labor Day weekend.
    Celebrating its 17th year and returning to the bustling streets of Royal Oak from Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, Ford Arts, Beats Eats presented by FirstMerit Bank will entertain thousands of visitors from across the region with its outstanding music line-up, stellar arts programming, mouthwatering selection of food, and a number of new attractions this Labor Day weekend.
  • All You Need to Know: Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair

    All You Need to Know: Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:56 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:56:12 GMT
    The Michigan State Fair is kicking off in Novi with carnival rides, circus shows and farm animals. Located off Grand River, the fair opens Friday Aug. 29 to Labor Day Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    The Michigan State Fair is kicking off in Novi with carnival rides, circus shows and farm animals. Located off Grand River, the fair opens Friday Aug. 29 to Labor Day Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Detroit police believe three shootings gang-related

    Detroit police believe three shootings gang-related

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:15 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:15:04 GMT
    In total there has been three shootings within 12 hours and two miles of each other - and police believe there is a connection.
    In total there has been three shootings within 12 hours and two miles of each other - and police believe there is a connection.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices