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Tesla boss, Elon Musk once said the company “might” look at e-bikes although it wasn’t in the short-term strategy plan. However, that isn’t stopping independent designers like Kendall Toerner creating a Tesla e-bike prototype. It might well catch the attention of Musk since Kendall is including Tesla in his designs.
As a start to his design process, Toerner wanted to see what stops people from cycling, and how he can offer some of the benefits of driving while being on a bike, especially when it comes to long distances. So, he included the ability to “cycle” with minimal effort and an “autopilot” type feature for independent steering. The bike handles itself. His Tesla e-bike design includes forward, side, and rear-facing radars, as well as cameras and ultrasonic sensors that provide 360° monitoring of all activity happening around the bike.
This combined with dual drive hub motors in both the front and rear wheel which applies power when needed lets the e-bike take on full autonomy to steer the cyclist out of danger or guide them to their destination with little effort. Musk may love the feature of autonomous bike as he has had this vision of self-driving cars that was the main driver to Tesla’s autopilot and the recent updates to the FSD – full self-driving capabilities.
The central feature that seem to be exciting people is the steering. Right from when the first bicycle was ever invented, has anyone ever tried to reinvent the bike’s steering mechanism. No. The fork has always been there to hold the front wheel, and works with the handlebars.
However, the Model B’s handlebars don’t move. When you push on them, the sensors will detect the force and then “instruct” the bike’s fork to turn.
The fictitious “Tesla” Model B is a bridge between the traditional bicycles and road vehicles, with a safer, efficient, and less energy-intensive design. In his design, Toerner focuses on avoiding too much physical exertion, which means little to no pedaling is involved, and there is no drivetrain. The problem is, if you run out of battery, and you’re a long way from home, you going to have to pedaling. Unless of course, e-bike charging stations are installed around the country.
Being a concept at this point, there are a lot of design questions that need to be resolved. But on the upside, the three-strut suspension wheels offer a new approach to road dampening. The cycling industry is looking to take on electric powered bikes and this could well provide many manufacturers with an innovative design.
The “Tesla” Model B has an integrated display to provide navigation and it offers a cool design with it’s sleek structure and unique seating. The concept from Kendall gives us something never seen before. The bike look a bit like a split nose saddle. Some cyclists may not agree this is a practical approach because it simply looks weird, but taking into consideration the carbon-fiber construction makes it look futuristic.
It is after all a concept bike clearly aimed towards Tesla. But as with all concepts, not every aspect of the bike will make it to the final drawing board and onto the production floor. But it shows that Kendall Toerner has some great skill he could offer the EV car maker.
Who is Kendall Toerner?
According to his website, Kendall is a curious soul who learned software programming skills to reverse engineer video games. He branched out to Mechanical Engineering where he would create small devices to automate things around his house. Then he moved to Industrial Design and worked with big names like Facebook’s Oculus.