With cities getting more crowded and polluted, e-bike start-up Modmo is focused on the development of personal-sized vehicles enabling emission and traffic-free commuting. Their new Saigon e-bike is one of the lightest on the market yet promises enormous range. Read about how it all started and how u-blox helped Modmo develop a premium line of bicycle packed with connectivity and tracking features.
From Dublin to Saigon…
Modmo was founded by 24-year-old Irishman Jack O’Sullivan. The idea was born as Jack was commuting by bicycle from Cabinteely to Dublin’s city center. He knew about the benefits that exercizing had, but there were some elements of a bike that just weren’t practical. One, in particular, was showing up to the office sweaty. He wanted to create a new brand of bicycles that were ‘smart,’ had an electric motor, were maintenance-free, and were modular so they could easily adapt to the customers’ needs. After an Asian sourcing trip led Jack to Vietnam, a partnership was formed with a motorbike factory in Ho Chi Minh City. It was nothing like he had ever seen before, and so good that he skipped his flight home. And that’s the story of how Modmo Saigon began.
… to u‑blox
As a result of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Vietnam, Modmo decided to set up its R&D and manufacturing in Vietnam. Their products are targeted for the EU market, with a specific focus on Germany, in 2021. Thanks to Modmo’s collaboration with Vietnam based ATCKEY, our distributor design house making the tracking device, they were introduced to u‑blox technology. ATCKEY’s experience in using our components along with our certification strategy for modules, eliminated the concern for certification in the EU.
“The certification of the u‑blox modules enables us to target the EU market directly. Our design house ATCKEY was able to connect and combine everything smoothly, which eased the integration of technologies, and helped us innovate and reinvent what a bicycle is. The reason we chose u‑blox was because of its high quality, which raises the reliability of our product and adds value to the functionality of the smart bike,” said Jack O’Sullivan, Founder at Modmo.
The tech behind the two-wheeled electric transport revolution
Modmo Saigon is not just an electric e-bike, it’s highly connected with wireless communication options spanning from Cellular/Bluetooth to GNSS location information. Saigon features u‑blox GPS technology with dedicated 4G data connection for location tracking and security. There are motion sensors that operate like a power switch; when you move the bike, it turns on, and when you park it, and it remains still, it turns off. Tap 'lock' and the Modmo software will set up a five-meter digital perimeter around the e-bike. If the e-bike moves outside the perimeter, it will send you a notification, and you can track the e-bike’s GPS location in-app. The possibilities of integrating services via the Modmo App are many - such as locking and unlocking, battery status, and bike position, to name a few. Thanks to the LARA-R211 cellular module connectivity, real-time location can be uploaded to a cloud server and retrieved from a mobile phone. The NINA-B111 adds low power Bluetooth connectivity from the e-bike to mobile phones to enable the locking and unlocking feature.
Made to move with zero-emissions
Zero-emission transport systems fit perfectly into u‑blox’s vision to support a sustainable, connected future. Modmo’s concept of combining wireless technologies with GPS location possibilities lays the foundation for the e-bike to seamlessly connect to future traffic safety systems. And the future is moving fast, in March 2020, Modmo launched Saigon and has accrued over €1,500,000 in pre-orders to date. In addition, the team grew from 2 to 20 people in 3 months during the COVID-19 lockdown. The Modmo team are well on their way to creating an e-bike that is ready to replace your car while shaping the future of how we humans move around our world.