The Green Wheel, developed by the Smart Cites group at the Media Lab, is a self-contained unit that includes an electric motor and battery, along with a generator that can recharge the battery. The Mobile Experience Lab developed a prototype web and mobile-based platform that interfaced with the wheel itself.
The MIT Mobile Experience Lab and Smart Cities Group additionally worked together to envision future scenarios related to topics that deal with social navigation, distributed data sensing, healthcare, bike sharing racks optimization, peer-to-peer freight, and civic engagement.
For example, bikes outfitted with the Green Wheel and a mobile device can create a network of distributed urban sensors, collecting data on road conditions, sound pollution, and mobility patterns using the mobile device’s accelerometer, microphone, and GPS. Sensors on the handlebars can collect data on air quality. A dedicated Web service can aggregate the data, providing a real-time view of the state of urban life.