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Smart Industry 1/2018

Smart Industry 1/2018 - The IoT Business Magazine - powered by Avnet Silica


Smart Lifestyle Internet of Bikes this market and both operators have already started to expand their operations into other countries. Companies learn quickly these days: American market leader LimeBike has successfully copied the scheme. After launching with a $12m seed round, the dockless bike-sharing startup announced in October 2017 that it had secured $50m to expand nationwide. LimeBike provides citruscolored bikes that can be parked and picked up from anywhere using their dockless stations. Expanding in all directions In the first six months since its launch in March 2017, LimeBike claims to have logged over half a million trips and currently counts 250,000 registered users. With the new funds, it is planning to increase the size of the current deployed fleet tenfold by the end of the year. The company is also expanding in other directions with an initiative called Lime Business Network, which allows local businesses to offer memberships to employees as a perk. Among the competitors in the space are Velos and Nextbike in Europe, Tandem ventures Deutsche Bahn and Ford cooperate on bikesharing in Cologne. In Berlin, the partner is the Lidl supermarket chain Find YoBike No docking station needed: leave the YoBike wherever you want photo©: Deutsche Bahn Mobike and Bluegogo in Asia, and Spin and CycleHop in the US. Cooperation with public transport will also draw additional customers to bike-sharing. A hybrid scheme comprising 900 smart bikes has been set up in Cologne by Nextbike, where public transport users can use their e-tickets to access the bicycles. In some parts of the city, there are “free-floating zones” where you can leave the bicycles at any road intersection, whereas in other areas rentand-return is only possible at official docking stations. Additionally, users get a free 30-minute ride without a separate registration with Nextbike. An integrated computer makes it easy to access a bike by holding the KVB transport e-ticket over the card reader. This shows how integration among different public transport modes using a wireless near-field communication (NFC) smart card can offer significant advantages. What is the attraction of investing huge amounts of venture capital in this market? It's easy to guess when you see one of the development partners of Mobike in China is the contract electronics manufacturer Foxconn. From the more than 20 million rides on their bikes each day, five terabytes of data are generated: usage, movement patterns, duration, and destination. This can help authorities in planning bus stations and parking lots. Of course, IT firms are also interested. Tencent, the producer of WeChat (a Chinese app similar to WhatsApp), has also teamed up with Mobike; Alibaba is working closely with Mobike competitor Ofo – which has also announced a global partnership with the payments platform Adyen. The collaboration will allow customers around the world to pay using local currencies and payment methods. We can expect similar collaboration and cooperation on other continents. Too many bicycles With the growing number of dockless shared bicycles, a new problem has turned up: there are too many of them. After the Singapore-based oBike started a dockless service in Melbourne last summer, with plans to provide 10,000 bikes around the city, the bikes kept turning up in places where nobody wanted them. They cluttered up busy footpaths; some were even hung up in trees, and others were dumped in the Yarra River. The reaction of Lord Mayor Robert Doyle was harsh: “We work hard to keep the city free of clutter. They are clutter and that must be fixed.” Hopefully, the dialogue with oBikes’ head of marketing Chethan Rangaswamy will be successful and can be used as a model for fixing similar problems in other places. 60

Everybody's doing it Successful bike-sharing companies worldwide Bycyklen: Weather-proof touchscreen devices on every bike What has happened in Copenhagen since my first encounter with public bike-sharing? In 2014, a highly advanced electric bike-sharing program was launched. Bycyklen provides a way for Danish commuters to use the bikes for their whole commute or to use them for the first or last mile in combination with mass transit. The program also appeals to tourists with the slogan: “See Copenhagen like the locals do. Get on Bycyklen and experience the wonderful sights of Copenhagen like a Dane – on two wheels.” The Bycyklen e-bike with a front-hub electric motor is built by GoBike and How does a rental system work? features a touchscreen tablet computer on the handlebars with builtin GPS for finding docking stations, public transit, and tourists spots, such as museums, restaurants, hotels, and parks. The touchscreens are weather- and tamper-resistant. In addition, the bikes are driven by a Gates Carbon belt drive to reduce maintenance and eliminate dirty, oily bike chains. The new program has hundreds of GoBikes at 20 docking stations in Copenhagen and Frederiksberg, with one station at City Hall for politicians and government workers to use. Mobike Beijing Mobike Technology. Founded in 2015 in Beijing, China. Mobike operates in over 160 cities in China and has started to expand internationally. In Europe, it has bikes in London and Manchester in the UK, and in Florence and Milan in Italy. In September 2017, It opened its first service in the US in Washington, DC. Ofo Founded in 2014 in Beijing, China. Ofo claims to operate over 10 million yellow bicycles in 250 cities and 20 countries. In the US, Seattle was the first city where Ofo bikes were offered and in the UK it is competing with Mobike and a local-government-sponsored scheme in the heart of London. ■ Customers register and choose a payment method – credit card billing is still the most common In most cases, users have to provide their address or a deposit as a guarantee against theft of the bikes. Once registered, users can select a bike using a map in their smartphone app. Bikes are equipped with GPS modules and can be located by the management software. Once a user has found a bike, they may scan a QR code or enter its ID in the app. The app then sends the user a code, which is typed into the special wheel lock on the rear of the bike – or opens the lock automatically. The user can then begin their journey. When finished, the rider parks the bike, clicks the lock back in place, and the user’s online wallet is automatically charged. Some bikes are “geo-fenced,” limiting where they can be used. LimeBike LimeBike was in January 2017 in San Mateo, California, and raised $12m in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz in March 2017. In October they operated in 11 cities in the US and additionally on four college campuses. The service is gaining custom at the cost of its Chinese competitors. ByCyKlen From Copenhagen, Denmark, Bycyklen the first bikesharing company that has brought e-bikes to the public. They currently have over 100 stations located all over the city. 61