The folks at Hammacher Schlemmer have a new electric bicycle with an intelligent automatic transmission. The good news… you don’t have to peddle… the bad news is that it costs $5,500. Ouch.
“This is the electric bicycle that uses automatic transmission to downshift into a lower gear when it senses a hill, upshifts for rapid acceleration up to 20 mph on flats, or allows you to pedal normally because the motor can be disengaged at your command. Powered by a 750-watt electric motor housed in the horizontal chain and motor assembly that provides 1 hp, the 8-speed automatic transmission is capable of four modes of operation, all controlled by a thumb toggle on the handlebars: a setting for rapid acceleration, a low gear setting for inclines (but slower acceleration), and a setting for manual gear shifting that disengages the motor to preserve battery life.”