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Acer pedals into e-cycle market with AI and big data in its basket

Still tumbleweed for PC industry right now, but maybe folks will buy computers-on-bikes?

Acer is racing into virgin territory and – everybody look out – it's coming armed with AI: the Taiwanese PC maker is launching an E-bike that is apparently designed for urban commuting.

The ebii is a single motor two-wheeler that, according to Acer, can run for up to 110km and is fully charged after two and a half hours. It weighs 16kg and comes in a matte white finish.

The cycle uses an “intelligent vehicle control box” that is said to adapt to route conditions, pedaling power and “rider preference for a smooth journey”, because who wants to arrive at their destination with an aching posterior.

In making the e-bike, Acer leaned on work at subsidiaries including MPS Energy’s power system and Xplova’s cycling computing, said Jerry Kao, co-chief operating officer at Acer.

According to the PC biz, the ebii’s “wheel set at the motor position has a strong single-sided fork design and a highly efficient 250/350 W motor with 48 V CAN bus and 40 Nm torque performance, enabling assisted riding of up to 25 kilometers per hour, and can be configured as a front, center, or rear hub according to the rider’s needs.”

During the ride – and presumably in hilly locales – the AI-powered ebiiAssist function will hoist your carcass up the slope by automatically adjusting motor output.

Not content with that, the cycle also “harnesses big data and collects user insights through the ebiiGO companion app… to check recommended routes, battery life, riding speed, auto-unlock setting and more for greater control over their urban adventures.”

This author, as has been mentioned before, lives – if you can call it that – near godforsaken Croydon, UK, and urban adventures can mean something else entirely, often involving fleeing for one's life. An electric bike might help unless someone hass already stolen it at the time it is required.

Just don't forget to set the riding preference to "get the hell outa here" mode, otherwise known as Boost Mode for speed. The other settings include Eco-Mode for power-saving and My ebii Mode for smart balance.

For anyone of a slightly careless disposition that is prone to accidents, a Rear Collision Warning radar sensor is kept under the seat to "alert the rider of motorists or object approaching from behind." So it might be the last voice you hear.

Acer expects ebii to be available towards the end of calendar Q2 and pricing is still a work in progress, a press spokesperson told us.

Given the parlous state of PC demand, it's not surprising that Acer is branching out – albeit more wildly than HP, which started to sell paper to printer customers last year.

Acer has diversified in the past and we were pleasantly surprised to see the Predator Shot energy drink still available, which presumably is something that ebii riders will be cross-sold. ®

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