The cab limited to Uber has already disappeared, the company has been experimenting with various projects for some time in order to crown itself as the king of transport. Autonomous cars, bicycles and scooters, and even flying taxis. It's the last idea that electric bikes are autonomous.
Currently Uber already has a bicycle division and electric scooters, it's about Jump. Jump is actually a company they acquired in April 2018 and continues to operate under its own brand. With the idea of winning the market, Uber takes Jump bikes to more markets and recently introduced a new bicycle version with significant improvements in mobility.
One of the important changes to their new bikes are exchangeable batteries. With this feature you no longer need to wait for the bikes to recharge, but you can change the battery at the time and charge those used in the dedicated center, probably at a lower price. The idea is to solve one of the basic problems of electric and common scooters and bicycles: wait for them to load.
Electric bikes, but also autonomous
Chris Anderson, Director of 3DR Robotics, published Recently Uber had an unusual announcement in which engineers are seeking "robotic micro-mobility". The Uber representative seems to announce a new project at the robotics event and it is an idea They develop scooters / autonomous bikes.
The idea of an autonomous scooter / bicycle is not exaggerated, it already exists. It is still unclear whether this is what Uber is planning to do, but if future versions of Jump Bikes are autonomous, they could fill themselves by going to the loading area, as well as to be distributed throughout the city without the need for operators.
Remove refiners and concentrate on points in the city
Why create an autonomous bike? In principle, for solve a few problems the real ones that endure all the bikes and other common vehicles we now have: replenishment and distribution. Since they are not dependent on certain stations, but are distributed throughout the city, they often have to be charged, so companies have operators to do so. Even people outside the company are committed to charging them at night for the financial compensation of the company's owners.
On the other hand, as the user can leave them at any point in the city, there are often areas that are left out of access as all vehicles are concentrated in certain areas. Moreover, users even "hide" bikes and scooters to get them later or next day. Being autonomous, this problem would be solved from then on will automatically be redistributed when not in use.
Provide autonomy with electric bikes would eliminate the need for operators to perform filling and redistribution. However, the costs would increase, not so much for the creation of the necessary technology, as much as the result. Would it be an electric bike or an electric motor? How does one autonomous vehicle on two points fit into the work and laws of each city? At the moment, they are just some offers for a job in Uber, which we have confirmed.
Via | Ars Technica