7 Benefits of an AI-Optimised Bike Share Scheme for Smart Cities

Smart Cities that have active and growing Bike Share Schemes create urban environments that are healthier, with less congestion and better placed to manage growing populations.

In 2016, 1.7 billion people or 23% of the world’s population lived in a city with at least 1 million inhabitants, according to the United Nations. By 2030, that will grow to 27%. Urbanisation is continuing to grow and that puts strain on transportation networks.

Public Transport in its current state is already stretched and cities are often challenged to fund new projects. With optimised Bike Share Schemes, cities can encourage citizens to cycle and avoid crowded transport systems.

As more Smart City initiatives are deployed, cities become data-rich environments that can benefit Bike Share Schemes. The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and a growing number of connected devices deployed across a city will only expand the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Bike Share Schemes and transportation overall.

Expanding data sets managed with AI can deliver results that directly benefit riders and influence how a city functions and grows.

All cities can benefit from an AI-driven Bike Share Scheme but as smart technologies are rolled out widely, the depth of data will grow. Operators benefit from new and increasingly precise insights while riders will see Bike Share Schemes optimised in new ways.

With AI, operators can ensure a well-run Bike Share Scheme that offers:

 

A Cleaner Transport Option:

For cities to help tackle climate change and deliver a better environment for citizens to live in

 

Healthier and Happier Riders:

Through daily exercise

 

Effective First & Last Mile Solution:

Since it can be significantly cheaper and faster than other public transport options for short distances

 

Reduced Strain on Infrastructure:

As less people are using public transport that requires continuous upkeep and maintenance

 

More Investment in Cities:

With less need for maintenance and new projects, Smart Cities can use funding on other much needed transport infrastructure such as cycling lanes and incentives

 

Manage Rising Transport Demand:

With increasing urban-dwellers, cities can offer more transport options with a Bike Share Scheme to accommodate this rise

 

City’s Brand Image:

Can be shaped by a cycling culture, supporting tourism and other thriving economic industries

 

Bike Share Schemes are like no other modes of transport. It offers a viable transportation option to many crowded cities that deliver a range of benefits to both cities and its citizens.

To find out more about the benefits of Bike Share Schemes to operators, cities and citizens, read our full white paper on ‘How to Grow a Smart City Bike Share Scheme’.

How to Grow a Smart City Bike Share Scheme

Smart Cities offer an entire ecosystem of valuable and relevant data that Bike Share Scheme operators can use. Smart City data can be used to identify trends and provide actionable insights that can drive the growth of Bike Share Schemes.

These four questions about data hold key information that Bike Share Scheme operators can use to reshape their approach:

  • Who are they?
  • What is happening in the City?
  • Where are they going?
  • What are they saying?

Bike Share Scheme operators need to know not only who their riders are but also the potential of the market. Citywide census and records collect data on population and demographics as well as human behaviour that can be used to predict the future of such schemes for operators. Trends in demographics can be identifiers for areas of growth in specific markets.

Cities also offer the potential to track a range of real-time data from traffic to weather and major events. Understanding how areas are being used at different times of day, by different types of people, and in response to different events through real-time data, can be highly beneficial to operators. A dynamic scheme is the first step in providing mobility options that work for all.

How people move in urban cities is just as important as identifying who they are. Fortunately, cities have a way of capturing this data too. Mobile phones, parking sensors, congestion zones all yield data about how and when people are moving around the city. Transport for London (TFL), a body responsible for the cities transport system, can track passenger movements through the Oyster card. For Bike Share Scheme operators, this data allows them to provide resources that are better attuned to the rider’s needs.

In a more connected and social world, it is also much easier to find out what people are thinking.
As an example, sentiment analysis can be used to track attitudes and opinions on social media. Operators can use this data to see how people react, what they like and dislike as well identify any opportunities for improvement. Ridership is the key to success for Bike Share Schemes and insights on this data can go a long way in ensuring the satisfaction of riders.

The challenge for operators is in how this data is collected and managed. Smart Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems will make use of public data feeds and encrypt user information to ensure the security of data.

For Bike Share Schemes and other transportation networks, it is imperative that they comply with existing and soon-to-be implemented regulations on data collection, privacy and usage such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The EU GDPR replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower citizens and to reshape the way organisations approach data privacy.

To find out more about what data is available in Smart Cities, read our full white paper on ‘How to Grow a Smart City Bike Share Scheme’.

How Cities Can Support Bike Share Schemes

Cities and its citizens stand to gain a lot from the success of Bike Share Schemes. They provide a clean and healthy transportation option in increasingly congested urban areas. Cities now play a huge role in attracting new schemes and supporting the adoption with cyclists.

 

In an effort to grow and capture further market share, Bike Share Schemes are always looking to enter new markets. Chinese start-ups are a prime example of this with many expanding to nearby countries such as Singapore and even as far as the UK.

 

Operators are now looking at more than just market size. They need to be sure that cities can fully support the growth of their schemes with proper infrastructure, capital and in changing consumer perception if necessary.

 

We highlight what cities and city planners can do to help attract Bike Share Schemes and support the adoption and growth with its citizens:

 

  • Provide safe cycling infrastructure:

It is important that citizens have access to safe cycling infrastructure. By promoting safe cycling, more riders are likely to see Bike Share Schemes and cycling in general as a viable solution.

 

Suitable cycling lanes and places for docking stations will be critical to the adoption and growth of the schemes.

 

  • Promote a cycling culture

The citizens are one of the biggest assets for cities. By changing perceptions and encouraging people to cycle, Bike Share Scheme operators will see more value and potential in entering the market.

 

Aside from getting operators into the market, a cycling culture will also greatly benefit the city. As more people cycle, the image of cities itself can be reshaped while seeing environmental and cost benefits.

 

  • Work with existing transportation hubs 

A huge amount of Bike Share Scheme riders see it as a last-mile solution. Such schemes often help them get to their final destinations quicker, easier and more cost efficiently.

 

Through working with existing hubs by strategically placing bikes and docking stations, operators will have access to a large portion of the market. Cities can also offer its citizens an integrated transportation option.

 

  • Partner with operators

By working with operators, cities can ensure that Bike Share Schemes are set up to meet both the needs of the cities and citizens as well as the operators themselves. Showing a willing partnership is going to be more encouraging to new operators looking to enter and grow in a specific market.

 

Cities also have immense potential in capturing data. Operators need to make use of the data available in cities to increase ridership. Data within cities can be used to identify key areas that will be crucial to new schemes and is also highly helpful in predicting demand.

 

At Stage Intelligence, we use real-time data available in cities and Artificial Intelligence technology to simplify Bike Share Scheme logistics. By understanding the data, Bike Share Schemes can remove complexity and give bikes to riders when and where they want them.

 

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence can manage operations and increase ridership within your Bike Share Scheme, please contact

tom.nutley@stageintelligence.co.uk

 

AI Technology and Big Data are Building Smarter Cities

As technology continues to advance, cities don’t want to be left behind. Cities around the world are turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI) to facilitate and support the drive towards ‘Smart Cities’.

Organisations are realising the potential of cities in collecting and using valuable data to benefit its citizens. Big Data and AI are helping to drive new innovations and disruptions, especially within the transport sector.

We give a round-up of key advancements in AI technology with city environments. These articles show a future where AI could be at the heart of how we get from A to B.

 

  • AI Traffic Lights

AI Traffic lights, set to be implemented in Milton Keynes, UK for 2018, will aim to offer a more reactive solution to managing rush hour. Traffic lights at present run in sequence. The AI fitted lights will cover a 50 square mile area around busy zones to monitor traffic and lower congestion, making it safer for cyclists, buses and other vehicles.

The AI traffic lights are the first step to improve traffic by integrating with existing road signs and management systems. In the future, the traffic lights will be able to communicate with driverless cars to ensure they work effectively.

 

  • NVIDIA’s AI Security Camera

According to NVIDIA, there are hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras around the globe, expected to reach approximately 1 billion by 2020. The amount of data that this creates is difficult to manage by human beings alone.

This is where AI technology can play a huge part. AI can be used to analyse vast amounts of data and accurately drive insights. Connected to the Cloud, AI-powered systems can track and monitor behaviour as well be a solution to a lot of city problems.

 

  • Connecting the Car Industry with AI

 AI has transformed the transportation industry with new business models and ways of operating. The car industry is not any different. AI has bought new features and increased connectivity options while promising a future of driverless cars.

The advancements in AI are making vehicles safer, smarter and cost efficient for people. From major automotive brands to start-ups, AI is proving its value in improving operations and bringing innovations.

 

  • Launching a ‘Pop-up’ Bus

Citymapper’s CMX1, dubbed the ‘pop-up bus’, aims to offer bus routes that change dynamically according to traffic and demand. It analyses vast amounts of data to find where demand is and offer a bus route to meet that demand.

Public transport has remained unchanged over the years. Citymapper’s pop-up bus is a good example of how optimising your resources can find new efficiencies and benefits to operators, even in old traditional models.

 

At Stage, we use Artificial Intelligence to remove complexity in Bike Share Schemes. Through using real-time data, we can predict demand and manage supply to increase ridership and grow Bike Share schemes.

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence’s AI solution can simplify logistics within your Bike Share Scheme, please contact tom.nutley@stageintelligence.co.uk

 

Bike Share Schemes Are Starting to Realise the Potential of AI

As Bike Share Schemes around the world become more popular, how we manage the resources such as bikes and docking stations defines the success and growth of such programs.

For Bike Share Schemes to truly be a solution to last mile problems, riders need bikes and docking stations to be available when and where they need them. It is up to the operators to ensure this happens every time.

But many operators fail to provide this basic level of service as they lack the actionable data and operations to manage the schemes effectively.

For a long time, the solution to ridership problems in Bike Share Schemes has been to supply the market with more bikes. In reality this does little to increase efficiency and often adds to the problem.

Now, Bike Share Scheme operators are seeing the value of data and AI in predicting demand and managing supply. Mobike, one of the start-ups in China, is beginning to use AI to manage how its Bike Share Schemes are run.

Mobike’s ‘Magic Cube’, uses data and AI to forecast supply and demand for its bike-rentals. In a fierce competition for market share, Mobike is seeing the value of using AI to simplify scheduling and operations of its scheme.

Mobike has also released its whitepaper outlining what Bike Share Schemes can do with citywide data. The report goes a long way in highlighting the potential for operators in collecting and using data.

The importance of data and AI is clear. For operators, the key is in not only collecting the data but also having a process that works with its systems and resources to drive growth and increase ridership.

In the future, we are going to see more operators turn to data and AI, especially since cities have the potential to collect and store vast amounts of valuable data. With actionable data, operators save money, cities aren’t cluttered with bikes and citizens can rely on a reliable Bike Share Scheme that they can use in their day-to-day lives.

At Stage Intelligence, we have been using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and self-organising algorithms to solve complex problems in Bike Share Schemes from the beginning. Our BICO solution is easily incorporated into existing platforms to simplify logistics and increase ridership.

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence can drive growth within your Bike Share Scheme, please contact: tom.nutley@stageintelligence.co.uk

Bike Share

Bike Share Schemes – In the Battle of Traditional vs Free-Flowing

As increasing number of people look to get healthier, save money and time and preserve the environment, it’s no surprise that Bike Share Schemes are growing in popularity around the world.

With traditional schemes doing well in many cities, more and more start-ups are bringing out dockless Bike Share Schemes in the hope to take advantage of the rising on-demand culture. It gives riders convenience, choice and transparency over the more traditional docked schemes.

With a free-flowing Bike Share Scheme, riders can use their smartphones to find, pay for and unlock bikes and leave the bike anywhere once they are done. It’s this level of simplicity that is making such schemes very popular.

In fact, in China, the most mature market for Bike Share Schemes, start-ups have had massive success entering the market, raising significant amount of funding and supplying vast amounts of bikes.

At the same time, the news in this market dominates around dockless bikes being stolen, damaged and left in an unsuitable place by their millions. For operators, they are constantly replacing bikes while cities and its citizens are seeing more cluttered bikes on their streets.

This raises the question; which schemes should cities adopt? Free-flowing Bike Share Schemes are a topic of heavy debate for many cities due to the problems they can create if it remains unmanaged. The solution for many companies was to supply more bikes to the market, which only added to the problem.

But operators are now becoming savvier. They are offering parking spaces, rewards for good riders and improved apps to track their bikes. This is a step in the right direction to tackling the problem. With dockless bikes being a good way to get people cycling, it would be wrong to completely rule out the free-flowing schemes.

Instead, operators should focus on how they can effectively manage existing resources to benefit themselves, the cyclists and cities. By effectively managing logistics, operators can remove bikes from overcrowded and unsuitable areas to supply it to areas that need them.

Through collecting and organising huge amounts of data available in cities, operators gain real insight into their schemes as well as the market. They gain cost efficiencies as they are not unnecessarily purchasing bikes and riders can trust that bikes are available when and where they need them.

At Stage Intelligence, we use close to infinite amount of data and Artificial Intelligence technology to offer a simple management process for Bike Share Schemes. By predicting demand and managing supply, operators see real benefits to their schemes.

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence can drive growth within your Bike Share Scheme, please contact tom.nutley@stageintelligence.co.uk

Simplifying Management Matters for a Healthy Bike Share Scheme

Operating a Bike Share Scheme involves managing complex logistics in a constantly changing environment. Cities offer new challenges every day that need to be overcome. No two days are likely to be the same with transportation playing a central role in how citizens experience a city.

For Bike Share Scheme operators, simplifying how they manage their schemes is crucial for their success. The complexities that come with distribution and management of bikes across a city can be resource-intensive while not delivering an optimised rider experience. This is a pain-point for many operators and as schemes grow they become difficult to manage.

When bikes are efficiently distributed across a scheme, it ensures that citizens can access bikes and docks when they need them, drives ridership growth, and ensures the overall health of the scheme. By focusing on simplifying the management of a Bike Share Scheme, operators can benefit from:

  • Cost efficiencies
  • Effective resource management
  • Easy scalability
  • Faster decision making

At Stage Intelligence, we use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help operators focus on simplicity and maximise the potential of their Bike Share Schemes. Our BICO platform gives operators recommendations on where to distribute Bikes using AI. It uses data from across the scheme to recognise where bikes should be placed based on thousands of criteria all in real-time.

Through a simple mobile app distribution trucks are told where to go to pick bikes up while managers at a central office have a full view of the scheme.  This reduces time dedicated to decision-making while increasing visibility into docks, bikes and distribution trucks. It puts valuable data into the hands of the operator.

Operators can gain cost and resource efficiencies as distribution of staff, bikes and other resources are optimised to reduce cost and time wastage. This provides the building blocks for scalability and the growth of the scheme.

Effective management should always look to combine all these elements and deliver transparency and data that is easy to consume. This enables operators to analyse and predict various aspects of the schemes and implement decisions faster.

For Bike Share Schemes in particular, effective management can determine the success of the entire program. The common misconception is that all it takes is an investment in bikes and the provision of docking stations for a scheme to work. But simple and effective management is behind every successful scheme around the world.

The outcome of a simplified and easy to understand management model is a healthy Bike Share Scheme that has maximised efficiencies and optimised operations.

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence uses Artificial Intelligence to simplify management for Bike Share Scheme operators, please contact tom.nutley@stageintelligence.co.uk

Introducing Version 10 of BICO Distribution Services

At Stage, we are continually updating and refining our BICO, logistics system for Bike Share Scheme operators. We listen to our customers and proactively develop the platform to better meet the needs of operators. It is important that the platform continues to evolve and change as we find new ways to use data and put Artificial Intelligence (AI) to work for our customers.

We developed a new version of BICO to simplify management and improve usability for operators. Version 10 delivers improvements focused on:

  • Console usability
  • Bug fixes
  • Android app stability

With Version 10, field operatives benefit from full access to BICO distribution services with the improved Android app. The BICO RESTful API v2.0 has been re-engineered to improve communication resilience and improve efficiency across high latency mobile networks.

The new version focuses on simplifying usage for operators with enhanced map views. Users can customise their default view from any one of the available options and declutter it through a custom Google map style. The view also shows ad-hoc jobs in a different colour to improve visibility for users.

In previous versions, stations with poor usability were all under the same red icon. To improve this, in the new version, we use multiple colours to represent the status of the stations and whether it is too full or too empty.

In our growing efforts to provide additional functionality and future extendibility of the system, we have implemented the New Service Point view to replace the old Docking Station View. The new view makes it possible to filter or search service points and pull up all the information that BICO holds about that specific point which may be amended by the user.

These key changes are implemented with the user in mind and how the system can deliver enhanced usability and a customised view to each individual user. Field operators gain better visibility of the entire Bike Share Scheme and makes managing this process simple with clear map views and warning indications. Simple management is the key to success and growth of Bike Share Schemes.

At Stage, we are always looking to use the latest technology to provide the best possible solutions in logistics in cycle sharing programs. This version update builds on our dedication to improve our services that impact both our customers and their end users.

To find out more about BICO Version 10, please contact tom.nutley@stageintelligence.co.uk

Bike Share Scheme – In the News

Bike Share Schemes continue to evolve and grow around the world. Our industry is changing rapidly and we like to stay on top of Bike Share news. Across the transport industry, the status quo is being challenged every day and in Bike Share Schemes new models are being developed and new schemes are being deployed all of the time.

Here is a round-up of some key news, we see shaping the future of Bike Share Schemes:

  • European Bike Share Availability Set to Double by 2025

According to analysts Frost & Sullivan, cities will increasingly turn to Bike Share Schemes as they seek to tackle the issue of rising emissions and poor air quality in major cities across Europe. Due to the high cost of setting up and running such schemes, a sponsorship model is likely to help meet these costs, enabling companies from a range of industries to get involved in the Bike Share Scheme market.

  • Mobike, Chinese Bicycle Sharing Start-up, Wins Additional Investment

Chinese bicycle-sharing start-up Mobike has announced additional funding, bringing its total new funding in 2017 to more than $300 million. This is in addition to the $215 million and an undisclosed investment from Foxconn last month, in an effort to double the number of bikes it produced last year to 10 million in 2017.

Mobike allows users to find, ride and pay for company bicycles scattered throughout 21 Chinese cities using an app and QR codes and is one of two Chinese bike-sharing start-ups that have raised hundreds of millions in funding since the beginning of 2016.

  • The Best and Worst of Bike Share Schemes

The UK’s Guardian newspaper has ranked the best and worst Bike Share Schemes globally based on cost, ease of access, bikes, docking stations and overall experience. It found the most affordable Bike Share Scheme in Hangzhou, China with an annual fee of £20. The article notes that the best Bike Share Scheme in the world is “…probably a toss-up between Hangzhou in China and Dublin in Ireland, although Vienna’s and Washington DC’s schemes win plaudits, while the Netherlands wins on transport integration.”

  • New Bike Share Scheme Launched in Singapore as Competition Grows

Chinese company ofo has launched a Bike Share Scheme in Singapore with an initial fleet of 1,000 bikes. This comes after Obike, a Singapore-based start-up with both local and Chinese investors launched in January. Obike has said it plans to deploy tens of thousands of bikes in Singapore.

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) will also be launching a Bike Share Scheme in the fourth quarter of this year. Each scheme will be challenged to deliver an optimal customer experience to ensure that consumers choose their scheme and create customer loyalty.

  • M&A – Motivate and 8D Merger

The Motivate and 8D merger demonstrates that our industry is maturing. Motivate, one of the largest Bike Share operators in the world, is teaming up with hardware and software provider 8D Technologies to grow innovation in Bike Share Schemes. 8D Technologies provides turnkey solutions that include bike key dispensers, bike docks, bike locking mechanisms, and efficient power management.

It powers nearly 40,000 bikes in Bike Share Schemes globally including Santander Cycle Hire (London, UK), Bixi (Montreal, Canada), ADCB Bikeshare (Abu Dhabi, UAE) and Melbourne Bike Share (Melbourne, Australia).

“Bringing Motivate and 8D together will accelerate bike share innovation and bolster our ability to revolutionize the landscape of cities,” said Jay Walder, President and CEO of Motivate and the combined companies.

Stage Intelligence plays a central role in Bike Share Schemes. We use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to simplify Bike Share Scheme management and ensure that operators are able to optimise distribute bikes across their schemes.

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence can help streamline logistics of Bike Share schemes, please contact tom.nutley@stageintelligence.co.uk

Driving Transformation in Transportation in 2017

2016 marked a turning point for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the transportation industry. We are seeing ideas that seemed distant actually becoming a reality. Self-driving cars are on the roads, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) apps are going live and we have deployed our AI-based technology in Bike Share Schemes around the world.

The industry is at the very beginning of a period of rapid change. Throughout 2016, we’ve seen glimpses of the future that have hinted at what is possible in transportation. Legacy models are being challenged and there is an appetite for change. Read more