Phase 3a – Reference 2: Copenhagen Wheel



This reference shows how the technology can improve the movement by bike around the cities with slopes, gather information about the pollution in the city and generally to enjoy when riding a bike.


The Copenhagen Wheel is one of the bets for become a carbon neutral capital and is a new emblem for urban mobility. It transforms ordinary bicycles quickly into hybrid e-bikes that also function as mobile sensing units.


The wheel is controlled through your Smart. Simply place your phone on the handlebars, and its Bluetooth module syncs with the Bluetooth module in the hub of the wheel. You can then use your phone to unlock and lock your bike, change gears, select how much the motor assists you and for viewing relevant real-time information.



The Copenhagen Wheel allows you to capture the energy dissipated while cycling and braking and save it for when you need a bit of a boost. It uses a technology similar to the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), which has revolutionized Formula One. Inside the hub, we have arranged a motor, 3- speed internal hub gear, batteries, a torque sensor, GPRS and a sensor kit that monitors CO, NOx, noise (db), relative humidity and temperature.


But if you question: why do people need all of this sensor kit in their bikes? This invention emerged as one of the steps to improve the environment and reduce pollution.

Copenhagen Aspires to be the First Carbon Neutral Capital in the World. The City Council of Copenhagen is aiming to make the capital carbon neutral by 2025.

In 2009, the same year as the COP15 Conference was held, the Copenhagen Climate Plan up to 2015 was adopted. The initiatives which were launched have contributed to substantial CO2 reductions. The goal of a 20 % reduction by 2015 was already achieved by 2011, when CO2 emissions were reduced by 21 % compared to 2005. Today, Copenhagen emits 1.9 million tonnes of CO2. By 2025, this should be reduced to 1.16 million tonnes.

On the 23rd of August, 2012, it is expected that a majority of votes at the Copenhagen City Council will pass the CPH 2025 Climate Plan with the ambition of carbon neutrality by 2025.

Distribution of the CO2 reduction in 2025 caused by the initiatives in the climate plan:


Despite the meagre results of the international COP15 Climate Conference in Copenhagen a few years ago, the city has kept on focusing on the consequences of climate change and now wants to lead the way towards a carbon neutral future.

Copenhagen is widely known as a city of bikes. The municipality alone has more than 350 km of bicycle lanes and on the busiest lanes 20-30,000 cyclists pass by daily. Of all citizens commuting to work and to educational institutions, 36 % are commuting by bike. Hopefully, this number should increase to 50 % in 2025 according to the climate plan. Among the initiatives, a new 300 km network of so-called ‘super biking lanes’ is planned to connect commuters from the suburbs to inner Copenhagen. Lanes will be wide, smoothly paved, and regulated by green light waves – traffic lights which are set to the speed of bikes (approximately 20 km per hour) to minimise stops at road crossings.

Other initiative is the Copenhagen Wheel that was unveiled on December 15, 2009 at the COP15 United Nations Climate Conference. The project was conceived and developed by the SENSEable City Lab for the Kobenhavns Kommune. One of the most important premises is helping Copenhagen to lead the way towards a carbon neutral future and become the first carbon neutral capital by 2025.




  • The Copenhagen Wheel was invented in 2009. Ever since the wheel first received attention, researchers at MIT’s SENSEable City lab have been refining it, and until the end of 2012 there was not any notice of this project. “The project touched an exposed nerve somehow. Aside from news coverage and design awards, people were wanting it. Over 14,000 people emailed saying ‘I want to buy it, sell it, make it for you,'” says Superpedestrian founder Assaf Biderman.
  • At the end of 2012, Biderman decided it was time to spin off a company to make it happen. MIT filed all the relevant patents, and Superpedestrian acquired exclusive licenses to the Copenhagen Wheel technology.
  • 16 of October 2013 appeared newly-hatched rival, the FlyKly Smart Wheel. The Smart Wheel, which has raised over $606.459 on Kickstarter so far, is extremely similar to the Copenhagen Wheel in most respects–though it will be hard to compare details until Superpedestrian does a full launch.


  • At the end of October 2013, a new company called Superpedestrian has debuted from “stealth” mode by announcing $2.1 million in venture capital funding and a promise: the long-awaited Copenhagen Wheel will be made available to the public in late November.
  • At the end of November 2013 goes on sale The Copenhagen Wheel.
  • Nowadays you can buy a Wheel by 699$.


The rider benefits of the Copenhagen Wheel include hills feeling flattened, distances shrunk and also that it is connected through a series of apps that allow riders to personalize and control their bikes.

New bicycle wheel not only boosts power using Formula One inspired technology, but also can keep track of fitness, friends, smog and traffic – helping Copenhagen become the first carbon neutral capital by 2025. As you ride, the sensing unit in the Copenhagen Wheel is capturing information about your personal riding habits how much effort you are putting in, calories you are burning etc as well as information about your surroundings, including carbon monoxide, NOx, noise, ambient temperature and relative humidity.


Access this data through your phone or the web and use it to plan healthier bike routes, to achieve your exercise goals or to meet up with friends on the go. You can also share your data with friends, or with your city – anonymously if you wish – thereby contributing to a fine-grained database of environmental information from which we can all benefit.

heatislandThe people who use that bike can also make a bigger contribution through them daily commute. When many cyclists donate the information their wheel is collecting, the city gains access to a new scale of fine-grained environmental information. Through this, the city can: Cross analyze different types of environmental data. Build a more detailed understanding of the impact of transportation, on a city infrastructure or study dynamic phenomena like urban heat islands. Ultimately, this type of crowd sourcing can influence how the city allocates its resources, how it responds to environmental conditions in real-time or how it structures and implements environmental and transportation policies.



One comment

  1. bob ellis

    First I covered my roof with solar panels with a 10 hour battery back up, then I bought a Prius, then I bought a plug in Prius, then I sold it back to Toyota and bought a Tesla and now, the penultimate, an electric hybrid bike that makes sense. Ironically, my Dad was an electrical planner-estimator and would have been proud of his son who could barely change a light bulb.

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