Bosch's electric pram makes it easy to push uphill, charges your phone and will slam on the brakes if someone tries to steal it
Bosch has designed an electric drive system for prams, which is either the height of luxury or peak laziness, depending on your view.
The drive unit is made up of two electric motors with a smart sensor system that detects when you’re walking uphill or over rough terrain. When it senses a change in power is required, the drive system kicks in to give you a hand.
Alternatively, when you’re travelling downhill, the system will enable the downhill brake assist feature or automatic motor brake. These motors sit in a system axle fitted near the rear wheels and are powered by a lithium-ion battery – the same battery Bosch uses for its power tools.
This battery is locked inside a battery compartment to avoid it getting wet in the rain or stolen. This compartment additionally has a USB port, which means you can charge your phone using the battery when you’re running low. What’s more, when the system notices the pram has stopped, it will automatically apply the parking brake which isn’t released until you start pushing again.
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If you find that you need a bit more power to get you up a particularly steep hill, you can tweak the assistance levels via the Bosch eStroller smartphone app. This app can also be used to set an alarm: if someone tries to steal your pram, either with or without your baby in it, an alert will sound and the brake will be applied. This brake and alarm can only be disabled by an authorised person via the app.
Bosch has produced a promotional video showing how a Bosch eStroller could look and work, although it won’t be selling electric prams itself. Instead, it’s partnering with pram and pushchair manufacturers to add the system to existing or future models; the first of these – the NXT90e, from Emmaljunga – is expected to go on sale towards the end of this year.
Although the idea of a motorised pram may sound a little out there, Bosch and Emmaljunga aren’t the only ones bringing such a system to market. In June, Cybex launched its e-PRIAM stroller: building on the design of the original Cybex PRIAM pushchair, the Cybex e-PRIAM uses smart features such as smart uphill and downhill support using sensors built into the handlebars. These sensors detect when you’re pushing or pulling on the handlebar.
The battery on the Cybex e-PRIAM, found next to the rear wheels, has a range of between eight and 45km, depending on “load and conditions”. By comparison, Bosch’s system will run for up to 15km.
The CYBEX e-PRIAM costs from £700, depending on the specifications, and is compatible with the LUX Carry Cot, an infant car seat or a LITE Cot. There is also a variety of frame colours and seat packs to choose from.