Posts

Bike Share: The Foundation for Mobility as a Service

Bike Share Schemes can be the foundation for developing Mobility as a Service (MaaS) in an urban city. It has a proven model that supports the deployment of MaaS across many different areas.

 

MaaS integrates various forms of transport services into a single mobility solution. It combines a range of services from trains and buses to taxis and bike sharing to offer a tailor-made transport solution that connects you door-to-door.

 

Bike Share Schemes make it easier to facilitate the move towards MaaS. MaaS operators can take advantage of its large user base and learn from its management approach to drive efficiency beyond Bike Share.

 

We believe a well-run Bike Share Scheme is the foundation for MaaS models. It supports the move away from personally owned vehicles to modes of transportation that are just as effective and cost-efficient whilst better connecting existing transportation.

 

Research by DTimes and ofo has found that shared bikes have the ability to seamlessly interlink existing transport infrastructure. Bike Share Schemes make it easy for users to access other transport links as well get to their final destination.

 

When residents can rely on transportation services to fully connect them to where they need to go, they are likely to use the services again and on a regular basis. That can facilitate the move towards MaaS initiatives in the future.

 

We are seeing the growth of MaaS apps such as Whim in Helsinki that could soon be the norm for modern transport around the world. It provides the convenience of private vehicle travel without the need of ownership particularly when on average cars are parked for over 95% of the time.

 

For cities looking to adopt MaaS models and transform the culture of personal vehicles, simplifying and optimising Bike Share Schemes should be the first step. It makes the financial and convenience case for using public and private means of transport over own personal vehicles.

 

With MaaS, operators and city officials gain complete visibility across a cityscape. It provides a clear picture of its users and their transportation needs. Visibility can be matched with technology such as AI to optimise all journeys in the urban city.

 

At Stage Intelligence, we are leaders in Bike Share Scheme management and hold a track record of simplifying operations around the world using our AI technology. We combine data and AI to deliver actionable insights that makes the management of Bike Share simple and efficient for operators.

 

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence can optimise your Bike Share Schemes with its AI platform, please contact tom.nutley(@)stageintelligence.co.uk

E-bike Sharing

Delivering New Growth for Bike Share Schemes with E-Bikes

Electric bikes (e-bikes) have huge potential for Bike Share Schemes but it brings a new level of management challenges for operators. Over its manual counterpart, e-bikes need to be fully charged for each rider, every time and that requires efficient distribution.

 

E-bike is a pedal bicycle with an electric motor. It assists the rider with additional electric power whilst offering many of the same characteristics as traditional bicycles. Many e-bikes are legally classified as bicycles and subject to the same local laws.

 

E-bikes can be a great way to travel. It can reduce door-to-door time of commutes with a lot less effort and makes transport more accessible to the new or less-experienced cyclists. For operators, it delivers new opportunities to compete in the industry and win new riders.

 

In the recent CES 2018 event, we saw many operators reveal their plans to incorporate e-bikes. Limebike, Spin, Ford GoBikes and Social Bikes all announced the introduction of e-bikes within their operations. It marks the shift in the industry that caters to the end users and their Bike Sharing experience.

 

E-bikes are a convenient way to get from A to B but it is faced with challenges in the market that limit its growth. The perception of e-bikes as ‘cheating’, the added weight of the battery pack to cycles and the cost of purchasing and repairing one all affect e-bike adoption with the public.

 

Manual pedal bikes are also much cheaper and easier to purchase, build and maintain for operators. It makes it simple for operators to grow fast and grow far. It’s one of the reasons why we are seeing thousands of pedal bikes being launched globally and at such a rapid pace.

 

For operators, the key is to deliver a service that people will want to use regularly and e-bikes offer a solution that removes the limit on how and when riders can use the schemes.

 

One major concern I see is in how operators manage their e-bike schemes. The demand for e-bikes is likely to be higher than the current pedal Bike Sharing schemes. It will put pressure on operators to deliver each and every time.

 

E-bikes will also need to be charged at the end of the trip and ready to be used by the next rider. That requires seamless management of resources and expert understanding of the local market.

 

Bike Share operators will need to have a strong management process in place to not only handle the challenges of e-bike sharing but to also take full advantage of the many opportunities it looks to bring for operators. Operators will be required to match local demand with efficient redistribution to succeed in the market.

 

At Stage Intelligence, we are using our expertise in Bike Share management to address the challenges of e-bike sharing. We are incorporating new e-bike technology within the artificial intelligence platform. Our processes enable us to add new features and functionality to cater to the dynamic Bike Share market.

 

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence can support and simplify your Bike Share Scheme operations, please contact tom.nutley(@)stageintelligence.co.uk

Five Bike Share Trends to Watch in 2018

When I talk to people at events, I see how business models have changed over the last year. Bike Share operators are constantly challenged to keep up with the rapidly changing industry and offer better rider experiences to its users.

 

A big opportunity for operators in 2018 is in how Bike Share Schemes are managed. It will not be enough to just supply the bikes, questions will be asked about how operators cater to the local market needs.

 

Intelligent operations will be at the heart of Bike Share Schemes in 2018 with operators focused on delivering the best experience to compete in the highly saturated market.

 

As Bike Share continues to grow across the globe, I see the following trends changing the marketplace:

 

  1. Rise in App-Based & Dockless Bike Share Models

App-based Bike Share Schemes are being deployed in more markets globally. In many urban cities, you now have access to free-floating bikes that can be picked up and dropped off virtually anywhere. In 2018, we will see an increase in cities adopting these schemes in an effort to reduce the strain on existing transport infrastructure and facilitate the move from personal vehicles.

 

  1. Growth of Multi-Operator Environments

Multi-operator environments are not new. We are already seeing many cities where more than one operator is running a scheme. Throughout 2018, this is likely to grow to more cities around the world and operators will be asked to deliver an optimised Bike Share Scheme to keep up with the competition. Cities will also need assuring that resources will be better managed to avoid bikes being damaged or left in unsuitable places.

 

  1. Optimised Redistribution with New Technology & Incentives

The growth in Bike Share Schemes and multi-operator environments will be the driving force for better redistribution. Operators will be challenged to offer schemes that work well and is not a nuisance to cities or its citizens. Fortunately, new technology such as geo-fencing and incentives including financial rewards will drive better rebalancing processes. From the events I’ve been to, it’s clear that operators are looking to do more to improve their redistribution efforts.

 

  1. Increased Bike Share Regulations

Bike Share operators have welcomed the prospect of more regulations. While some may hinder current operations, most regulations will help Bike Share Schemes to thrive. It will guide operators as to what is required and enable them to grow into new markets much easier.

 

  1. Driving Intelligent Bike Share Scheme Operations

In 2018, operators will look towards better ways to manage their schemes and to grow their ridership. We see growth in technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) simplifying the management process. It enables operators to sort through vast amounts of data to gain actionable insights that has a direct impact on their operation. That kind of information makes management of Bike Share Schemes simple and efficient.

 

In 2018, we will continue to see disruption in all parts of Bike Share and the wider transportation industry. It will impact how operators do business. How these schemes are managed will still be the main focus for many cities and its citizens.

 

Users expect transportation to be as simple and efficient as the other services they consume on a day-to-day basis. That puts the pressure on operators to deliver a well-run Bike Share Scheme.

 

An optimised scheme enables users to rely on its services and use it regularly. It reduces unnecessary costs and complications for operators while driving profits to their business.

 

Fortunately, I see new technology, incentives and processes enabling operators to transform their current business model.

 

At Stage Intelligence, we combine citywide data with AI technology to deliver real value to Bike Share Scheme operators. Our BICO platform makes it easy for operators to simplify their operations and deliver Bike Share Schemes that works for both cities and the users.

 

To find out more about how Stage Intelligence is transforming Bike Share Schemes around the world with AI technology, please contact  tom.nutley@stageintelligence.co.uk

 

2018: A Tipping Point for Artificial Intelligence in Transportation

2018 will be the tipping point for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the transportation industry. It will be a year where AI becomes an essential tool with new understanding and recognition that it is critical to success. In our business and beyond, we’ve seen how influential this technology can be in changing business models and creating better transport solutions.

 

At Stage Intelligence, we’re seeing this become a reality. In 2017, we’ve seen tremendous momentum behind our business and growing demand for real AI solutions in transportation. We’re rolling out our AI-based Bike Share management solution in cities across the globe and changing the perception that Bike Share isn’t a viable, reliable transport option.

 

We are helping to accelerate transformation in transportation and utilising self-organising algorithms and elements of machine learning to simplify and empower Bike Share management.

 

2018: Challenges in AI

The future of transportation will be defined by AI. Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2020 almost every new software product will have AI technologies. In transportation, we are starting to see widespread application and development of AI technology that is being powered by the collection of data and use of algorithms.

 

That said, it is still a very young market with challenges ahead. I see three big challenges for AI in transportation:

 

  1. Not All “AI” is the Same – Many businesses that say they use AI don’t actually have it deployed. It is a buzzword and many businesses are doing data visualisations or pretty interfaces but when you look under the hood there’s nothing there. Operators eager to benefit from AI don’t get what they paid for and won’t see the best of it.

 

  1. Transportation Expertise and Focus – AI solutions need to address specific challenges. They need to be purpose built for transportation and developed by both experts in transportation and AI. Otherwise, you get generic solutions that solve generic problems rather than enabling real innovation and agility in transportation.

 

  1. Nurturing AI – AI isn’t just about building solutions. It is about training it and nurturing it to deliver the results you want. It requires people, time, effort and a lot of data to continuously maintain and develop the technology. You don’t just flip a switch. It requires an expert experienced in developing and growing successful solutions.

 

As we see more AI-based solutions adopted, there will be a move towards quality and performance. Solutions that are based more on buzzwords than results will fade away.

 

In 2018, more people will understand the basics of AI and make better decisions about the solutions they deploy. That’s good for transportation and will accelerate its growth.

 

Building Better Bike Share Schemes

We’ve seen tremendous growth in our business over the past year. In 2017, we deployed our solutions in new corners of the world.

 

Our business development team led by Tom Nutley was out and about at events and meetings almost on a monthly basis. We’ve been successful in sharing our belief in automated rebalancing and using self-organising algorithms to build better Bike Share Schemes and that has led to trials and deployments around the world.

 

Our flagship BICO Bike Share Scheme management platform has been adopted and is supporting ridership growth in unique markets in the Americas and Europe. In 2017, We added greater functionality to BICO including a successful internationalisation process that helped us to better serve our partners abroad and dynamic replenishment values for greater predictive management of a scheme. Both have made it easier for operators to deploy and benefit from our solution.

 

We are also proud to have partnered with industry bodies to accelerate transformation in Bike Share Schemes. We are a member of the platform for European Bicycle Sharing & Systems (PEBSS), created by European Cyclist’s Federation (ECF). Our work with ECF and PEBSS highlights our commitment to growing a healthier cycling market for all.

 

In November, our usability data was shared around the world and is influencing conversation about how to create Bike Share Schemes that give riders an optimised experience. We are sharing our data and analytics to show what is possible in Bike Share when you take a new approach.

 

This Time Next Year

Throughout 2018, we will develop our AI technology for the shared mobility market, innovate for Bike Share operators and continue to roll our solutions around the world. It is an exciting time for our industry and we are ready to help our partners benefit from our solution and encourage the continued growth of Bike Share.

 

As cities around the globe continue to push towards cleaner and more sustainable transportation, we will see increased demand for user-friendly Biker Share. How cities and operators manage their schemes and support riders will define their success.

 

The tipping point in Bike Share will be seen when automated rebalancing becomes a critical part of any Bike Share operator’s conversations about growth. AI will at least be considered when discussing a path forward for schemes looking to grow. That’s a big step forward in an industry that is constantly changing.

 

There are a few things that I believe will define the Bike Share in 2018:

 

  • Growing Bike Share Schemes

As more Bike Shares use AI-based management solutions, riders will get a better experience and schemes will grow. It will enable faster decision making for bike distribution, ensuring that riders get bikes and docks where and when they need them. That drives growth and creates new efficiencies.

 

  • Move Towards Electric

We will see a greater push in electric cars, bikes and scooters in an effort to reduce emissions and drive down costs. We will see more Bike Share offering e-bikes and even further introduction of e-scooter sharing in cities around the world. With greater range and a larger, more diverse user base, schemes will need better management solutions to drive efficiency.

 

  • Mobility as a Service

We will see mobile phones play a greater role in traditional transportation. Mobility as Service (MaaS) showed its potential in 2017 and now MaaS will begin being rolled out in cities around the globe. It will streamline how we travel and deliver even more data about how we commute.

 

  • The End of the Free-For-All in Free Floating

The free-for-all in Free Floating Bike Share has to come to an end. Healthy markets do not tolerate massive oversupply and as we’ve seen in some cities in China it leads to failing schemes. Free Floating Bike Share Schemes need to be managed and follow policies set out by local governments to be successful. In 2018, we hope to see less mistakes made and a lesson to be learned.

 

All of these things will drive demand for AI-based solutions and the evolution of Bike Share Scheme management. Bike Share operations should be simpler to manage with better experiences for riders. In 2018, we will solve some of the challenges in transportation and deliver solutions that benefit cities, citizens and the environment. I see tremendous potential in our business and our industry. 2018 will be a phenomenal year for AI in transportation.

 

Increasing Rider Satisfaction with Artificial Intelligence

Big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) provide a valuable opportunity for growth to Bike Share Schemes that have been deployed and developed across the six continents. Both schemes that are in the planning stages and ones that have already been deployed can benefit from leveraging big data and AI

Operators looking to drive growth to their schemes need AI to sort through vast amounts of data. If you combine millions of different criteria across a large urban area, the sheer number of possibilities can be overwhelming.

Every element matters and can influence where bikes are dropped and congestion occurs. In the worst-case scenarios, a rider borrows a bike but can’t find a dock and must travel away from their destination to drop it off and when they return there are no bikes remaining.

Data and AI is key to avoiding this situation. It ensures rider satisfaction by predicting demand in popular areas and managing supply. Only with data and AI technology can Bike Share Schemes look to improve existing processes, operations and logistics, and drive growth to their operations.

Going forward, data needs to be more accessible to operators. Open data allows Bike Share Scheme operators to deliver a transport solution that works for all. Data ensures bikes are available when and where it’s needed to support the growth of Bike Share Scheme deployments around the world.

Regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will still be paramount in the push for the openness of data. Cities, operators and all others involved have a duty to follow secure practices and take necessary steps in protecting user information.

Data and AI are ready to help operators to adapt and grow their schemes while refining and simplifying how they manage distribution.

For operators, getting started is simple:

  1. Evaluate long and short-term goals and growth objectives
  2. Explore what AI-based management platforms are available
  3. Look at what open data, shared data and Smart City initiative have been launched or are being developed locally
  4. Collaborate with AI experts and begin the journey towards smarter and more efficient Bike Share Schemes

To find out more about how operators can grow their Bike Share Schemes, read our full whitepaper on ‘How to Grow a Smart City Bike Share Scheme’.

Artificial Intelligence for Modern Transport Operators

With an AI-based management platform, transport operators benefit from utilising a variety of data sources. For Bike Share Schemes, the platform can give insights as to where bikes are required and instantly inform distribution trucks about where bikes need to be picked up and dropped off. When information is being processed instantly and communicated to drivers, there is no lag between new demand emerging and that demand being served.

The value of AI is its ability to process vasts amount of data across a Smart City and make it useful for operators. Citizens get the resources they need and that supports the long-term sustainable growth of public transport.

As a form of modern transport, AI platforms simplify the management of Bike Share Schemes and deliver unique benefits to operators:

 

User Satisfaction

Increased user satisfaction by ensuring bikes and docking points are available when and where required

 

Cost Reductions

Improved operational efficiency and reduced requirement of operational resources

 

Remove Unnecessary Processes

Move away from traditional schedule or dispatch-based approaches and eliminate wasted journeys

 

New Visibility

Real-time truck locations, colour coded station status and station clustering as well as access to advanced analytics and actionable reports via a single dashboard

 

Increased Autonomy

Drivers receive direct communications often via a mobile app, allowing them to work independently of each other and the back office with less wasted time

 

Greater Control

Autonomous operation of a Bike Share Scheme that reflects real time conditions, offers consistent delivery instruction and a detailed overview of the scheme

 

Scenario Simulation

The simulation engine in such management platforms offers the ability to see responses to “what if” scenarios, allowing improved and more efficient resource planning

 

Scale Up

Increase the size of a Bike Share Scheme without the need to simultaneously increase available resource to maintain operation levels

 

The demand for public transport is growing with more citizens turning to Bike Share Schemes as a viable mode of transport. In a growing and competitive Bike Share market, AI could be the key to success for many operators. It has already proven its value to some of the largest schemes in the world and will continue to be at the heart of modern transportation in the future.

 

To find out more about the advantages of utilising AI in transportation read our full whitepaper on ‘How to Grow a Smart City Bike Share Scheme’.

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-Floating

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-floating 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-floating 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-floating 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