“This bicycle has an electronic gear system which Cambridge Consultants has wirelessly linked the gears to both manual controls and a smartphone application mounted on the handlebars, along with information from sensors measuring cadence and wheel speed.”
I heard, although I don’t know the truth to this statement, that automatic shifting has been around for a while but had trouble penetrating the market. You would need a VERY smart and predictive automatic shifter to match what a human can do. Plus, imagine you jump out of the saddle into a sprint, or to climb a hill and suddenly the gears change to low. Seems like an easy way to crash.
Hm, it’s not that wheel is not important, it’s that effort (read power) should be counted first of all. You want to keep power in line with cadens that your body (engine) always has more efficient ratio.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jR-1KrfoY0M — this is Shimano top of the line. Compagnolo also has 11 speed electronic shifters. Changing a speed is just an “electronic contact” closure. Getting together Garmin (cadens and heart rate monitor) and Shimano/Compagnolo is a matter of small program and one simple scheme. Creating a model controlling all stuff is a much bigger problem.
The Nuvinci I referred to earlier is a CVT. It has a decent range (360%) but unfortunately it weighs 5+lb. But, I think it makes this automatic idea more feasible since it is continuous and can also be shifted under load.