Up to 60 km/h fast

Concept of an urban high-speed pedelec: BMW i Vision AMBY

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Already unveiled at the IAA Mobility a few weeks ago, BMW’s i Vision AMBY will of course be featured here in more detail — after all, the Munich-based company wants to use it to show “a visionary two-wheeled solution approach for the urban mobility of tomorrow.”

The word AMBY comes from “Adaptive Mobility”, which is also the idea for this bike: visually, the futuristic design already creates a hybrid of e-bike and motorcycle — and in terms of the bike’s performance, it also goes in this direction. As usual, the drive allows up to 25 km/h for use on bike paths and up to 45 km/h on inner-city roads, as already known from S-pedelecs. But on multi-lane roads and out of town, BMW is flirting with up to 60 km/h top speed, which would make the i Vision AMBY a new kind of high-speed pedelec.

Which of the three modes are available to the rider is stored via app on the smartphone, which is located on the handlebars. Manual selection of the driving mode is just as conceivable as automatic recognition of position and road type via geofencing technology and the associated automatic adjustment of the top speed. 

The energy storage unit sits in the center of the frame. With its 2,000 Wh, it enables a range of up to 300 kilometers, depending on the riding mode. Thanks to fast-charging technology, it can be recharged in just three hours. A low-maintenance toothed belt provides the power transmission; the gearbox is integrated into the drive. A high-quality single-sided swingarm, otherwise only known from BMW Motorrad, connects the rear wheel to the frame. 120 millimeters of suspension travel front and rear are ideal for all applications in and around the city up to 60 km/h. Larger and wider tires than usual sit on the 27.5-inch rims to ensure maximum comfort and safety even at higher speeds.

Apart from the drive, the i Vison AMBY also offers numerous interesting details: For example, the upper frame tube offers space between the profiles that can be used for a backpack or laptop bag. Just in front of the handlebars is the area for smartphone integration, which keeps the terminal device clearly visible and securely in place via magnet. The light is integrated into the wide handlebar as a narrow, horizontal LED strip and underlines the modern, technical look of this frame section. Also fully integrated brakes as well as internally routed cables complete the modern, technical look of the handlebar area. The taillight is recessed into the seatpost as a vertical LED element. Underneath, an e-Ink display shows the riding mode in use.

Using the specially developed app, the user can activate the BMW i Vision AMBY for driving, read in his or her stored driver’s license classes, and use the appropriate, necessary insurance coverage on demand. The app thus takes over the classic key function and uses the usual identification options in the smartphone, such as Face ID. The smartphone shown in the bike charges inductively on the magnetic holder in the lower field of vision. In addition, theft protection and the freely programmable immobilizer are also offered as a basic function via these connectivity options. The search function “Where is my BMW i Vision AMBY?” is thus just a click away on the smartphone.

Instead of choosing the driving mode by yourself, the geofencing technology in combination with the detailed HERE map service can create the authoritative parameters for the automatic adjustment of the speed mode (25/45/60 km/h) and the matching insurance benefit. Through geofencing technology, the vehicle recognizes the type of road currently being traveled and automatically adjusts the maximum speed allowed. In this way, the BMW i Vision AMBY can transform from a pedelec to an S-pedelec-like or even motorcycle-like vehicle. The license plate required for this is implemented in this course via the display with e-ink technology. The currently activated or selected mode is thus easily recognizable for other road users.

As you can see, what’s exciting about the AMBY is not just its futuristic design, but also the idea of an e-bike with a modular speed concept. This is a type of vehicle for which there is as yet no legal framework. But maybe AMBY can be an impulse for a corresponding legislation to stimulate such possibilities!

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