AT&T powers a bike as smart as your phone

LeEco's Android-juiced Super Bike packs a fingerprint scanner, GPS system and -- get this -- side lasers.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng
3 min read
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LeEco's Super Bike runs on Android.


No matter how smart your bicycle is, it's probably not savvy enough to overcome the perils cyclists face on the road.

Bike riders have it rough. When they're riding, cyclists are watching out for dangers on all sides, darting past vehicles many times their size and dodging surprise door openings. When they're not riding, bicycles risk being stolen -- more than 1.5 million get snatched in the US every year, the FBI notes.

Chinese company LeEco wants to take on the cyclists' troubles with its Super Bike. This bike comes with a GPS system, media center, fingerprint scanner, smart locks and intercom system. Like a car, it also has turn signals, head and tail lights, and a horn. And get this: It packs side lasers to mark a personal bike lane for riders.

LeEco's two-wheeler is one smart bike, infused with Google's Android software, making it a K.I.T.T. you can pedal. It's just the latest thing -- along with refrigerators, dog collars, toasters and more -- that's connected to the internet and able to talk to other things. While the bike was previously shown off, AT&T said Tuesday that it will hook up the Super Bike to its cellular network.

"We already connected millions of things -- from cars, homes and wearables to farms, factories and cities. The Super Bike shows once again how connectivity can change how we work and play," Chris Penrose, AT&T's senior vice president of Internet of Things Solutions said in a statement.

The Super Bike won't solve all of your problems. Road hazards will always be out there, and bad guys too. The bicycle's rear wheel can lock itself, but thieves can still outsmart the device the old-fashioned way, by simply carrying it off. With a device attached as powerful and valuable as the phone in your pocket, the smart bicycle could even become a bigger target.

Luckily, if it is stolen, LeEco's bicycle comes with a location tracker to find where it went off to.

Neither LeEco or AT&T provided a price for the Super Bike or the data plan that comes with it.

It's also unclear how effective those laser beams will be in deterring erratic drivers who aren't paying attention.

Still, with an estimated 494,000 visits to US emergency rooms in 2013 from cycling accidents, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends providing more lights to prevent crashes. LeEco's bicycle has plenty of them.

LeEco sees its smart bicycle as a "unique, seamless experience," given all the features packed into a single machine, according to its chief revenue officer, Danny Bowman.

You've probably never heard of LeEco, which started out as the "Netflix of China" as the country's largest video streaming website. It has branched out to cars and televisions, buying Vizio for $2 billion in July.

The bicycle will be on display at the CTIA Super Mobility trade show in Las Vegas from September 7 to September 9, where LeEco will reveal more details about its cost, size and availability.

Watch this: LeEco announces it's buying Vizio for $2 billion