E-bike motor maker Brose has recently joined efforts with COMODULE allowing their motors to host ‘Connected Drive’, a modular, plug and play system for monitoring and maintaining fleets of shared e-bikes. This system was designed for much more than electric bicycles, and is also used for electric scooters, mopeds, and automobiles. In this article we’ll focus on what Connected Drive can do for electric bicycle fleets.

Brose Drive C motor
*Brose’s Drive C motor

Many e-bikers have probably heard of Brose by now but perhaps not COMODULE.  An Estonian company focused on the ‘Internet of Things’, COMODULE has connected 300,000 light electric vehicles to the internet since 2014, and helped 60 cities around the globe launch shared fleet operations. As for Brose, COMODULE’s connectivity module works with their Drive C aluminum or magnesium motors. The modules are also compatible with other manufacturer’s e-bike motors, including Bosch and Bafang.

Connected Drive, rider on Brose e-bike

The module rides along inside the bike frame and connects to the motor. Its exact location depends on the bike manufacturer’s frame design, and COMODULE can custom-build modules to fit various applications.

To allow for real-time connectivity regardless of where the bike is located, each module includes a SIM card and has its own internet connection. The modules track their bikes via the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), and rely on the cellular network for remote configuration.

The Connected Drive system is only available to manufacturers or fleet operators like large corporations or municipalities: It is not designed as an aftermarket product for individual buyers.

What can Connected Drive do?

Comodule Connected Drive, laptop view

The Connected Drive system offers a highly customizable, open cloud platform. Below are some of the features the system can provide, but bear in mind many other functions could be added to this list depending on the buyer’s requirements.

•Possibly the most basic but important feature for fleet operators is the ability to track their bikes’ locations, ensuring stolen rental e-bikes can be found. COMODULE says they can find 100% of lost bikes, scooters, or vehicles.

•Remote access to the bikes allows operators to monitor real-time data such as location, charging status, charging cycles, error codes, etc. no matter where the bike is at the time.

•Remote software and firmware updates can be performed (while the bikes are being ridden).

•The fleet operator can electronically limit rental bikes’ maximum speed (ideal for meeting local regulations) and can set up a geofencing feature.  This is configurable depending on the fleet operator’s needs, but one geofencing option is setting up rental bikes that will shut off if they leave a certain area.

•Fleet operators can not only limit motor output to reduce safety risks or match local regulations, they can also add higher assistance levels if desired.

•A standard digital application programming interface allows new e-bikes to be added to established fleet management systems.

Connected Drive, women riding e-bikes
*Photos c. Brose

To employ Connected Drive, fleet operators must purchase the necessary hardware and pay a licensing fee that’s determined by the size and usage of their fleet. COMODULE also offers technical support to fleet operators.

Connected Drive is functional anywhere on earth, and the system is currently certified for Europe, Switzerland, Great Britain, The United States of America, and New Zealand. Other regions could be certified upon request. Interested parties should contact COMODULE for further information.

comodule.com

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