For several months, Toyota has been working on a concept bike called the Prius x Parlee (PXP), meant to bring together the design elements of their hybrid car into a bicycle.
Through a partnership between Toyota, Parlee Cycles, and Deeplocal, the PXP uses a smartphone mounted on the bike to record its metrics (much like the Prius itself does), including the rider's heart rate, pace, speed, brain waves, and past habits. If you rode down a hill and downshifted last time, the bike will remember your action and downshift the next time you ride down that hill.
Most significantly, however, the creators of the PXP have created a helmet fitted with neurotransmitters, so the bike is, literally, able to read your mind. If you think, "downshift," the bike will downshift.
Jason Kambitsis of Wired Magazine took the prototype for a spin back in July. "You've got to keep your head clear," he said of the experience. "The neurotransmitters work off your brain activity, so if your mind is bombarded with grocery lists or thoughts chasing down that guy who blew by you, shifting could be tricky."
If the idea of a mind-reading bike sounds appealing, stay tuned: Parlee has plans to release a bike inspired by the PXP prototype in 2012 or 2013, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
See the PXP promo video: