Apple's Google Maps rival wants you to ditch your car for an e-bike one day

An ebike commuter enjoying a coffee
(Image credit: Shutterstock / BGStock72)

Apple Maps – the iPhone manufacturer’s version of Google Maps – wants to get you out of your car and onto an electric bike - or e-bike - at least one day.

While looking through the app’s code Steve Moser discovered that several lines reference an “E-Bike” and finding optimized routes for these kinds of vehicles. 

It’s not yet clear how these routes would be chosen exactly but we expect that the routes will be similar to those optimized for regular bikes – albeit with a few more inclines and a preference for following roads than more rugged cycle paths.

The feature’s code still needs to be finished off indicating that it's still in the earlier testing phases and isn’t ready for launch quite yet. 

But the code's existence strongly suggests Apple is getting ready for e-bikes to become increasingly popular as people ditch their cars for cheaper and more environmentally friendly options.

The goal for Apple here could be to integrate the e-bike routing with Apple Watch e-bike detection, meaning any journey begun could initiate an electric bike workout, or vice versa.

An electrifying future

The best electric bikes or e-bikes are awesome for commuting – and they’re great for getting more enjoyment out of your ride in general. They look like a fairly normal bike but are equipped with an electric battery that can propel you forward when you don’t want to put much effort in. 

This motor is especially helpful when paired with a foldable e-bike; the typically smaller wheels on a folding bike mean you have to put a bit more work into travel as far, but that isn’t as much the case with a powered electric bike.

As great as e-bikes are though – they’re much more compact and environmentally friendly than a car – they also cost a fair amount more than a standard two-wheeler. 

Our pick for the best e-bike right now, the Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0, will set you back $4,000 / £3,900 / AU$5,000 – but there are cheaper alternatives out there too.

That being said, with the price of gas as high as it is right now, then it might not take too long before an e-bike would end up saving you money on your daily commute.

(via AutoEvolution)

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.