Dec 01, 2019

Want this $10,000 bike? Get a badge – Boston Globe

If Robocop were assigned to bicycle patrol, this is what he would ride. It’s called the Thoreau Tactical System. Built by 1854 Cycling Co., of Framingham, it’s a police data center on two wheels: a flat-panel touchscreen over the handlebars that displays maps or photos of a fugitive; integrated radios that feed voice communications directly to the officer’s helmet; body sensors that relay vital stats such as pulse and respiration. The system sells for a whopping $10,000, but 1854 Cycling’s founder, Brandale Randolph, has a powerful ally to help his startup target police departments in the United States and around the world: Cambridge-based Draper, the electronics and defense institute best known for writing the software that guided the Apollo astronauts to the moon. Also on the team are Empire Group, an engineering firm that designed the bicycle’s lightweight carbon-fiber frame; the Waltham company Boston Engineering, which designed the full-face radio helmet; and 99 Degrees, of Lawrence, a maker of high-tech clothing that monitors the wearer’s vital signs. Read the full article here.

Oct 16, 2019

Bike-mounted Police Gain High-Tech Advantages – Draper/Apollo

Bicycles had been a standard resource for police in the late 19th and early 20th century, before motorcycles and cars became widespread and essential transportation and police departments pushed for modernization. Their maneuverability and other advantages—such as the low cost of bikes compared to cars and their approachability—have led many police departments throughout the country to bring back bicycle-mounted officer programs over the last 20 years.

To optimize its bike-mounted program for today’s law enforcement needs, the Framingham, Mass. Police Department tasked 1854 Cycling Company, a Framingham, Mass.-based bicycle and cycling apparel company, to provid electric-assisted bicycles.

The company formed partnerships to assist in the effort with Boston Engineering, Draper and Empire Group, and has relationships with experts at MassTech Collaborative and has met with Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA). Using best practices in human-centered design and engineering, Draper and other collaborators set out to develop a user interface and software application for an electric-assisted bicycle for law enforcement, private security, and emergency medical service personnel. Read the full article here.