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Harley-Davidson introduces new Serial 1 e-bikes with Google cloud connectivity

The e-bike manufacturer will be among the first to incorporate Google’s software solutions into its vehicles

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Harley-Davidson introduces new Serial 1 e-bikes with Google cloud connectivity

Harley Davidson’s electric bike firm, Serial 1, has introduced its second-generation array of luxury e-bikes, but the largest improvements will be to the company’s app. Serial 1’s new relationship with Google Cloud will deliver a slew of new software capabilities for the modified bikes. According to the firm, Google Cloud has chosen Serial 1 as its new “strategic eMobility partner,” which means the e-bike manufacturer will be among the first to incorporate Google’s software solutions into its vehicles.

Serial 1 claims that the software-enabled e-bikes would allow users to log their rides, gather data, and “significantly improve safety and security.” It represents a growing tendency in the e-bike market to include cloud-connected software as an added selling factor.

The Serial 1 app, which allows users to monitor turn-by-turn navigation, gather ride statistics, and handle security features on their bike, will be the focal point of the new collaboration. More high-tech capabilities are on the way, owing to the company’s “access to Google Cloud analytics and business intelligence, as well as integration with Google Cloud AI functionality.”

In addition, Google Cloud will strengthen the link between the bike and the user’s smartphone. Most e-bikes utilise Bluetooth to link to a smartphone app, but Serial 1’s bikes will combine cellular and GPS technologies, in addition to Bluetooth, to guarantee owners can connect to their bikes even when they are not in their line of sight.

Just a brief recap: Serial 1 is an electric bike firm that was spun out of Harley-Davidson in October 2020 (via The Verge). Its current portfolio consists of four bikes, ranging in price from $3,399 to $4,999. The brand names given to the bikes are Mosh/Cty, a city bike, and Rush/Cty, a commuter cycle that comes in three variants (regular, Step-Thru, and Speed). Each has a mid-drive motor that can generate 250W of continuous power and reach high speeds of 20mph, with Rush/Cty Speed as the exception, which can reach a high speed of 28mph.

The second-generation bikes will have the same drivetrains as the first, but the majority of the significant changes made to the bikes are hidden beneath the surface. The features include enhanced security measures such as flashing lights, disabling pedal-assist capability, and real-time location.

The Serial 1 app will work with Google Maps to improve navigation, such as by prioritising routes with bike lanes. The simplified digital displays on the Serial 1 are provided by Brose, a German firm that also manufactures the bike’s motor, so riders will most likely have to install their smartphones on the handlebars to take advantage of these capabilities.

The software will also have a “virtual garage” where owners can name, monitor, and manage their e-bikes digitally. This will include a new dashboard for users to monitor their bike’s ride statistics, which will include parameters like speed, distance, range, power output (both for the rider and the battery), efficiency, and state-of-charge. Owners of a Serial 1 can log their rides in order to learn more about their performance and improvement. In addition, when their bikes require maintenance, the app will notify them automatically.

With this new upgrade, it’s evident that Serial 1 is targeting big manufacturers like Giant, Trek, and Specialized, which offer high-end e-bikes. Specialized has made much of the linked software in its Turbo series. And, like Harley-Davidson, the business just announced the launch of its own brand, Globe, which would only specialise in utility e-bikes.

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