Uber reportedly explores autonomous bikes and bikes

By Folake Dosu  |  January 28, 2019

IoT-Uber-JUMP-autonomous

Autonomous technology for Uber’s bike and scooter-share programs may be on the horizon, according to a report from TechCrunch. The outlet reports that 3D Robotics CEO Chris Anderson revealed that Uber made this announcement at a recent DIY Robotics event.

According to the source, Micromobility Robotics will be a new division under the umbrella of Uber’s JUMP group, which oversees shared electric bikes and scooters.

“The new division, Micromobility Robotics, will explore autonomous scooters and bikes that can drive themselves to be charged, or drive themselves to locations where riders need them. The Telegraph has since reported Uber has already begun hiring for this team,” says TechCrunch.

A description of this team could be found in a Google Form for interested applicants: “The New Mobilities team at Uber is exploring ways to improve safety, rider experience, and operational efficiency of our shared electric scooters and bicycles through the application of sensing and robotics technologies.”

TechCrunch notes that Uber recently rolled out an upgrade for its JUMP bikes, which now comes with self-diagnostic capabilities and swappable batteries, in a bid to boost overall unit economics.

“That is a major improvement to system utilization, the operating system, fleet uptime and all of the most critical metrics about how businesses are performing with running a shared fleet. Swappable batteries mean you don’t have to take vehicles back to wherever you charge a bike or scooter, and that’s good for the business.”

“That is a major improvement to system utilization, the operating system, fleet uptime and all of the most critical metrics about how businesses are performing with running a shared fleet,” JUMP Head of Product Nick Foley told TechCrunch last December. “Swappable batteries mean you don’t have to take vehicles back to wherever you charge a bike or scooter, and that’s good for the business.”

By removing humans from the equation through autonomous technology, Uber’s shared micromobility business has the opportunity to vastly optimize their operations through increased vehicle availability and a superior ride experience, TechCrunch explains.

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