This past week kicked off the massive South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. This week’s theme is Interactive, which means those involved in all aspects of our information-rich, increasingly mobile, and technologically advanced culture were on hand to learn from each other. One of the first panel discussions I attended sought to answer the question:”What if the Prius weren’t a car?”
Inspired by the Prius philosophy, the PXP Bike is the latest innovation from Toyota and Saatchi LA, as part of Toyota Prius Projects an initiative developed to celebrate the Prius’ fist 10 years on the road, using its design principles to make the world, not just the road, a better place to be.
The Prius X Parlee (or PXP) Bike blends ground-breaking technology with eco-friendly materials to facilitate joyful use, even for those who wouldn’t consider themselves hardcore cyclists. Special design processes allowed its creators to minimize carbon waste while also creating a strong, more aerodynamic frame. Brake cables are placed inside the frame to eliminate drag.
Like the Prius, elements were positioned to facilitate connection between bike and rider so the two can exchange a flow of information. Yes, the prototype PXP includes smart phone integration for tracking speed, pace, and distance, but it’s something completely separate from the bike that really excited the crowd at SxSW.
The concept includes a helmet that enables the cyclist to switch gears through “thought-sensitive” technology. That’s right, we’re talking about a bike that can read your mind. This first-of-its-kind bicycle helmet was developed in partnership with Deeplocal and gives the rider the ability to shift gears just by thinking about it. The technology can be trained to remember GPS coordinates so that it will shift the same way each time you bike to work over the same terrain.
See the stunning PXP in action below:
Image Copyright: Beth Buczynski