Uber plans bikes that drive to charging or collection locations

Side view of Uber JUMP ebike being riden on the street

Uber may have plans to create self-driving public bikes. This could potentially allow you to order a bike to meet you at your door and then just jump off and go. The bike could drive itself from the charging and storeage location to where it’s needed, and then return itself to an appropriate location when you’ve finished with it.

The news was announced by Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics, when he Tweeted the below notice from an event he attended last week. He suggests that the Micromobility program being launched by Uber is about creating autononomous scooters and bicycles s that can drive themselves to locations where they can charge or where they are needed.

There has been some notable backlash against bike-share services due to bikes not being returned to appropriate parking locations. This is, of course, mostly an issue affecting dockless sharing. Dockless sharing is becoming common for regular bikes, dockless e-bike sharing it is complicated by the need to charge batteries, although Uber seems to be making this work.

There has also been a lot of research at Chinese universities, funded by the Chinese government, looking to develop autonomous bicycles. Such bikes could increase the usefulness of bike-sharing services, but may also have applications for automated delivery services. Expect to see riderless bicycles a feature of city spaces in the near future.

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