@tiorbinist - You're right. When you're on something like this, you're bound to get attention. This is limited edition stuff and most people won't buy this for riding a bike. It'll serve as a collector's edition in their arsenal.
@Zippy - That could surely be the reason. In this case, do you think enthusiasts or Lexus owners such as yourself would refrain from buying enthusiast stuff such as this? If not, why? Some take enthusiastic machines like these for granted, so why not this?
@Battar - I'm no genius on the subject either but the mechanical energy from pedaling is supposed to power the electronic shifting by giving electrical energy. If I mentioned something else by mistake, excuse me.
An interesting article, and a product that would not be useful for anybody riding in the real world. It is way to spartan to be comfortable for a long ride, and probably none of the assembly is serviceable outside the Lexus castle. And those ultra-light-weight wheels just don't work for riding no handed. So while it may be appropriate for some Tokyo executive to park in his office and brag about, it does not show much other value, except as a show-off piece.
I'm inclined to agree with those who said that there's nothing really new here. It fails as an avanced-technolgy demonstrator, since almost everything here, such as carbon-fiber frames, has been available for years from other bicycle manufacturers. In fact, it's missing some technolgies that are available on bikes at the $1300 price point, such as hydraulic disc brakes, instead of the side-pull, cable-actuated rim brakes. The only technology I can see that is somewhat advanced is the elctronic deraileur, and Fallbrook Technologies has an electronically-controlled, continuously-variable transmission (ECVT) for bycycles that can also be shifted manually, which is far more advanced than a semi-automatic deraileur (see link below).
New features show up at the Dura-Ace level of Shimano's road set and then trickle down over the years to the lower tiers of their product line. 2012 was the first year that Di2 was available in the Ultegra line.
Al, it's just as curious that Lexus is making movies and geting involved in art galleries. The movies aren't about cars. They're actual movies, shown as the Cannes Film Festival. There's a lot I don't understand about automotive marketing.
The weight is not that impressive. It's a the minimum legal for UCI sanctioned events. Lighter weight is possible, without the electronic shifters and carbon fiber frame. But for the racing market, there's not much incentive to go below the "legal limit." I've seen one very pretty steel-framed bike (carbon fiber wheels) that probably weighed about 14lbs. It was for an adult male, but I wouldn't have put a 240 lb adult maile on it, nor would I have taken it on some of the roads around here. But it was very, very nice. And it was expensive, but probably a good bit less than $10K.
My own sturdy, steel-framed touring bike might, on an extreme strip-down diet, get down to 25 lb. But then I'm not racing, and I'm not riding rides with 9000 ft of climbing in a day.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.