SEOUL -- Because electric bicycles are far more expensive than ordinary bicycles, they have been the constant target of theft. Sometimes, only their batteries get stolen as they are the most expensive part.
To ease apprehension among consumers, South Korea's top telecom company KT released "AIR I", a thief-proof electric bicycle on Friday. If an AIR I gets stolen, its owner can render it useless by remotely shutting down the bike's electric motor and track it down through a real-time search service.
The electric bike, priced at 790,000 won ($712), uses a fourth-generation mobile network and an internet of things (IoT) network to stay connected. AIR I weighs 15 kilograms (33 pounds) and can travel up to 60 kilometers using its pedal-assist motor at the speed of up to 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) per hour.
KT will also provide other convenient features for AIR I owners, using its smart mobility platform which can control and manage electric bikes, smart cars and other network-connected vehicles.
According to Statistica, a New York-based market analyst firm, the global market for electric bicycles will grow from $15.7 billion in 2016 to $24.3 billion in 2025. China is the world's largest market valued at $15 billion this year.
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