The Aachen-based company DroidDrive is developing Trailerduck, an electrically driven four-wheeled cargo trailer that lets bikes haul much more cargo. The German company came up with the concept for last-mile logistics as well as industrial applications in factories or on closed company premises.
The self-propelled, motorized trailer attaches to your e-bike or trike, using a specially-designed drawbar, and boasts the biggest payload in the industry. The drawbar is packed with sensors that detect the speed of the bike, along with the direction in which it’s turning. The trailer takes its cues from the towing vehicle and autonomously performs all maneuvers – from accelerating, braking, maintaining speeds to turning. That literally means the cyclist will be riding like they have no trailer attached.
Thanks to innovative lightweight construction, Trailerduck can handle a payload of up to 300 kg and has a loading volume of up to 2 cubic meters, and it can reach speeds of up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph). While it can handle this much cargo, a single duck is only 1-meter wide and therefore travels on the street, bike path, and even on the sidewalk without impeding traffic from other bikes and pedestrians. Additionally, because it is electric and technically a part of the bike, it will be able to travel across all car-free city centers, where delivery vans are no longer allowed.
DroidDrive is currently working on the towable trailer, but for future applications, the company is developing a Ducktrain system that consists of a platoon of up to five such trailers that will use LiDAR to wirelessly track and follow a vehicle.
The company is currently taking preorders for the Trailerduck, with deliveries for the first units estimated for late 2022. It hasn’t revealed the pricing details yet.