The Belgian start-up Cowboy is adding a new feature to its mobile application: a route based on air quality in real time to make the healthiest possible journey with your electric bike.
Founded in 2017, the Belgian brand Cowboy has since made a name for itself in the world of electric bikes. The one which was founded by the two former creators of Take it Easy – Adrien Roose and Karim Slaoui – have since released three versions of their eponymous electric and connected bike, the latest to be invited to our streets in June 2020.
And while the young shoot is preparing some novelties for the 2021 vintage, a new feature is emerging in the mobile application, essential (or almost, depending on the iterations) to use your connected steed. To the navigation system already present, a route calculated according to the best air quality is now added.
Breezometer as a data provider
When entering an address, the user will be able to choose the fastest route, or the one with the best air quality. The data displayed on a heat map is calculated in real time using information provided by Breezometer, a partner and data supplier specializing in air quality.
This feature is being rolled out today across Europe. At the time of this writing, our Cowboy application (Cowboy 3 test to come in the Frandroid columns) has not yet received the update, which should however land today. Gonzague on Twitter said he had received it. But one question remains: does this suggestion for a healthier route have any real utility?
Taking a less polluted road will sometimes, and even very often, require you to lengthen your run. During a trip or a walk during a weekend, this kind of route can make sense, since the user is generally less in a hurry than during the week. This will also allow him to avoid streets too frequented by cars, whose CO2 emissions actively deteriorate air quality.
Predictive battery estimation
But to get to where you are traveling or to return home, increasing your journey time by several minutes will not usually be the most preferred option. Unless you care about the quality of the air you breathe. Cowboy’s initiative is nonetheless laudable and innovative.
Also, the application will now be able to estimate the battery level available when arriving at a destination. If the battery is almost empty, this lets you know how many kilometers you can still cover for the next trip.