A drive towards saving the environment, making commute easy and affordable, electric bike riding platforms have swept globally in a matter of few years. It was a simple idea that was combined with the right efforts and technology to take a form of electronic revolution recently.
As an example, China has been running around 430 bike sharing programs solely, followed by the United States, Spain, China, Japan, and Italy.
Amongst the prevalent reasons, one major reason of electric bikes gaining popularity is that the cities are struggling with the menace of pollution caused by the huge number of cars on the road, making the cities more and more congested.
Apart from this, electric biking is helpful in last mile connectivity when public transport, personal conveyance or cabs are not available. Bikes can accommodate in less parking space, huge traffic and need some physical strength to move ahead. They also help reduce congestion and pollution in the metro cities.
Doubtlessly bicycles have long been promoted as an eco-friendly, healthy and safe mode of transportation and best last mile commute options.
Various city transportation systems have inherited dock-based bike share and rental systems, they have sometimes been limited by a shortage of reliable dock availability, expensive equipment, and inefficient operations.
The omnipresence of smartphones have called for increasing popularity and acceptance of on-demand app solutions for biking technology. The emergence of the Internet of Things in the past few years has surfaced "dockless” bike sharing apps and services in China and similarly developed countries.
Such systems are aptly known as “Uber for bikes" and are a new type of bike share system that offers bikes on-demand. These can be accessed from any approved public space that uses real-time GPS to locate a nearby bike and allow users to leave the bike at any approved location.
Users can access or book bikes via bike sharing apps (can be accessed via their smartphones). These require the location feature to be active. The app shows the number of available bikes for sharing in the user's location. The user has to scan the bike's QR code through the bike sharing app to unlock the bike. The user is charged upon completing the journey.
China has been making and using approximately 16 million shared cycles across its major cities. Its dockless bike share apps like Mobike and ofo together have a joint valuation of over $2 billion and are rapidly expanding their operations. This trend is shaping up in other countries like India, USA, Europe, Malaysia etc.
Uber recently piloted “Uber Bike by Jump” and then acquired JUMP, a bike-sharing startup that reportedly was valued at around $200 million.
Dock-less bike sharing apps and services have increased the possibilities like availability and ease of use shared by docked systems. In the docked bike sharing system, commuters take the bike and park it in at a designated dock. They have to find out the docking zone, might have to walk a while for the same and this system is thus not really useful as it doesn't seem to resolve the last minute docking problem.
On the other hand, dock-less bikes can be picked up and parked at any approved site like a sidewalk. Commuters can find out bikes spread across a city and locate the nearest one using their bike sharing app and start pedaling to their destination in no time.
When the rider reaches their destination, they can lock and park the cycle right outside his home from where the next rider can pick it up. The dockless way of bike sharing is applicable to contingent situations, is convenient and finally resolves the last mile problem as compared to traditional dock-based systems.
Let's look at the primary features of bike sharing apps:
Other features include:
Loss or theft of bicycles and improper parking are two major problems that are the cause of worry for commuters and participants (operators, federal agencies) who invest in the global bike sharing service market.
Examples of Leading Companies that provide electric bike sharing facility
Few famous examples of companies that are making it big in electric biking are:
Various benefits of dock-less bike sharing apps:
Electric biking is an easy and affordable way to commute within the city with a low carbon footprint. Top app development companies have considered bike rental app development to match the emerging demand and supply gap. IoT coupled with smart parking is sure to revolutionize traffic management and electric bikes will become economic, safe and healthy means of transport.