When it comes to the bicycle, there have been some pretty significant upgrades since the 19th Century - carbon fiber, electronic shifting...rubber tires - but nothing like this. The SENSEable City Laboratory at MIT (no surprise there) may have just reinvented the wheel.
The Copenhagen Wheel replaces standard back wheels and turns your bike into something like a hybrid electric car. With a motor, rechargeable battery and Bluetooth wireless connections, the new wheel gives your pedaling a boost of 3x to 10x for up to 30 miles at speeds up to 20 mph and recharges on the downhills. And it's all programmable with your smart phone.
Assaf Biderman, Associate Director of the laboratory and co-inventor of the Copenhagen Wheel, has licensed the wheel and founded Superpedestrian, Inc. to produce it, so look for the first production models to hit the streets in late 2014. It could just be the future of urban transportation.
You can check them out at www.superpedestrian.com or see CBS' piece from yesterday here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/could-copenhagen-wheel-reinvent-the-urban-commute/