Solving Distribution Challenges in Bike Share Schemes

Effective distribution, in some of the best Bike Share Schemes, require immense amounts of citywide data to be captured, processed and used. Increasingly, schemes around the world are using city data to not only optimise its redistribution but to also show complete visibility to its users as to where the bikes are on its system map.

It’s how Bike Share Schemes use this data that drives value for operators, riders and cities. Bike Share Scheme operators are often familiar with rider statistics and patterns but the challenge is to use this data to accelerate growth within a scheme.

Tracking growth and stimulating growth are often two very different things. At the heart of new growth is rider experience. Bike Share Schemes are challenged to offer a consistent rider experience across a city while ensuring that using a Bike Share Scheme is easy, convenient and enjoyable for the rider. A positive and consistent Bike Share Scheme begins and ends with two questions:

 

  1. “Can I get a bike where I want one?”
  2. “Can I dock my bike at the end of my journey?”

 

If a Bike Share Scheme can guarantee these two things, it is likely that a rider will have a positive riding experience. When a rider can borrow a bike and dock it, they are more likely to use the scheme again and make it part of their routine.

That’s good for the Bike Share Scheme as it will help to grow overall ridership and new people will experience the city using shared bikes. A Bike Share Scheme with an active and growing ridership is able to invest and expand its schemes.

The data available in a city can be used to ensure that riders can access bikes and docks where and when they want them. Different days of the week, weather, events, seasons, local conditions and scenarios, and a whole range of criteria can shape how a Bike Share Scheme is used.

On a rare rainy day in Los Angeles, people may not cycle at all. In Amsterdam, there may only be a slight variance in usage patterns. At the same time, different events can be connected like a sunny day in a city, matched with a train drivers strike and major sporting event being held in one area of the city. All of these factors can influence how a scheme is functioning and where more or less bikes are needed.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be an excellent tool for simplifying Bike Share Scheme operations while using the power of data to drive decision making. AI can process a variety of data both historically and in real-time
to deliver actionable insights for Bike Share Scheme operators. Operators gain visibility into all of the criteria shaping a cityscape and benefit from useful insights to optimise bike distribution to match changing conditions.

AI accelerates how decisions are made by operators while taking the guess work out of bike distribution. The AI technology can predict peak times up to 12 hours in advance, enabling operators to manage supply and meet requirements in those areas. This ultimately leads to bikes and docks being available and riders getting a better Bike Share experience.

 

To find out more about the role data and AI has on a Bike Share Scheme, read our full whitepaper on ‘How to Grow a Smart City Bike Share Scheme’

 

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 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

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

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

Creating Better Jobs with Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is disrupting all kinds of industries and changing them for the better. While most discussions around AI are positive, there are still fears around AI’s impact on the job market.

In many cases, AI won’t replace workers but it will make them better at their jobs. It will enable workers to refocus their jobs around areas where a human touch can add value. The impact of AI is already being felt and we see it as not about phasing people out but finding smarter ways to work.

AI is enabling many types of jobs to become easier and more efficient. It permits extremely large quantities of data to be made accessible and useful for people to make faster and more precise decisions. While this can be seen as outsmarting human beings, it is actually enabling workers to manage and use more data with better results.

This means workers will be able to proactively manage situations based on extremely complex data patterns while businesses will be able to make larger and more targeted investments. It creates a new business environment that is different but isn’t simply about removing people from the workforce.

At the same time, AI is driving demand for new skills. We must be prepared to “up-skill and re-skill” according to the UK parliament.

At Stage Intelligence, we agree that education and training systems across the world should be developed and made more flexible. They should teach students about AI and the skills they need to accommodate to a life working with it. AI is not going away and as it becomes ever present within day-to-day life, specifically within the jobs market, it is important that we can all find a way to maximise the potential of AI in our businesses.

We believe that AI should be embraced as a technology that helps facilitate jobs and enhances our lives. At Stage Intelligence we use AI to create intelligent solutions to solve complex problems within logistics in Bike Share Schemes. Our AI is helping Bike Share Scheme operators to increase usability and ridership allowing its staff to focus on other core areas of the business. By embracing AI both individuals and technology can work together to make a better Bike Share Scheme.

It is important that we all find a way to embrace and work with AI. It should not be seen as a threat but rather as an opportunity. AI can improve the jobs market and evolve the ways of working to create greater efficiency, enhancing the lives of everyone.

What are your thoughts on the future role of AI within jobs? Share your ideas in a comment below.

Putting Cycling at the Centre of Active Transport in London

London is putting cycling front and centre of its campaign to deliver smarter, greener and more efficient transport.

In August, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan shared his vision for the transforming transport in London. He wants the capital city to be a place of ‘active transport’ and is working to make the city greener, smarter and easier to navigate.

Following this announcement, Transport for London (TfL) awarded a new £79.7 million Cycle Hire contract to Bike Share Scheme operator Serco, which includes the development of lighter, more comfortable and more maneuverable bikes. Serco will continue to maintain and distribute the fleet of Santander Cycles until 2022.

Cycling has already taken a major role in commuter life in London. There is a fleet of 11,500 Santander Cycles in London and TfL says that there are over 610,000 bike trips a day made in the city, well over double the figure of the early 2000s.

In 2000, central London’s roads during the morning rush hour were populated by seven times as many cars as bikes. This ratio has now dropped to nearly two to one, leading TfL to predict that bikes will outnumber cars within a few years.

Khan recognises the potential and popularity of cycling within London, and has created a campaign for enhancing the cycling experience in London. He has agreed to increase the TfL budget spend on cycling and has given the go ahead on continuing the build of the cycle super highway. He wants London to be a leader in supporting cycling and show the rest of the world that London understands how to deliver active and green transport.

Khan is dedicated to supporting cycling across London and is working on a number of ways to make this happen. One of the best ways to support cycling in London is to focus on driving usage in its Bike Share Scheme. More users mean less cars on the road, fewer traffic jams, lower emissions and greatly improves public health through physical activity.

London can grow its Bike Share Schemes by focusing on making it even more user friendly. The happier riders are the more uptake Bike Share Schemes will incur, and as a result the more active London will become.

At Stage Intelligence we use Artificial Intelligence to simplify the distribution of bicycles in Bike Share Schemes. When Bike Share Schemes are properly distributed and made easy-to-use, customer satisfaction increases. Bike Share Scheme optimisation can effectively help transform the London transport experience. We think that Khan’s support in bettering cycling in London is a great place to begin in bringing his vision to life.

To find out more about Stage Intelligence’s technology and how it can assist in making the distribution in Bike Share Schemes as efficient as possible please visit our website: http://bit.ly/2bl1cbH