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Using Autonomous Vehicles To Manage Bike Share Schemes of the Future

While fully autonomous cars are still years away from being a mode of transportation that we can use day-to-day. We think it could have a positive impact on Bike Share Scheme management in the future.

 

With 68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, we believe the future of mobility lies in simpler, cleaner and space saving modes of transportation like walking or cycling. Autonomous cars could play a big part in this.

 

In Bike Share Schemes, driverless cars could open up new opportunities in optimising management to deliver a better scheme to its riders. It can make the redistribution of bikes in the future much easier and more cost-efficient for the operator. Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and autonomous technology can all interlink to carry out traditional operational processes.

 

Currently, operators have to rely on manual processes for redistribution with trucks and vehicles being led by operational staff. That requires a significant amount of internal planning on where the drivers need to be, at what time and taking into account shift breaks and patterns.

 

Fortunately, Bike Share operators now have a lot of tools and technology at their fingertips that can help optimise and manage this. AI-based management platforms are helping operators with a lot of the heavy lifting and giving operators the most optimum way to manage operational staff.

 

In a future where driverless cars are commonplace, we can see Bike Share Scheme management moving towards the use of this technology. It has the potential to directly connect with management platforms to optimise how the redistribution trucks move, where they go and how often they go there. That can all be done with minimal human interaction.

 

For Bike Share Scheme operators this can remove the limits on rebalancing its bikes and offer a better and more reliable scheme to its riders. When Bike Share Schemes are better managed, operators can reduce costs and accelerate rider experience.

 

You are able to accurately serve the local market and ensure bikes are available when and where it’s needed. That supports the move towards shared integrated transportation and gets more people cycling.

 

Autonomous cars have a lot of potential for Bike Share Schemes and wider transportation in general, but it is still very far away from reality. At Stage, we’re always looking at the future and seeing how complex challenges of today could be solved by the technologies of tomorrow.

 

We’re excited to see what new technology will bring to the growing shared mobility market and how we can best incorporate it to deliver smarter processes to the wider industry.

 

Please get in touch if you’d like to know more about how we support Bike Share operators with a simplified management processes: tom.nutley(@)stageintelligence.co.uk

 

 

Helsinki AI

Stage Intelligence Deploys Its Artificial Intelligence Platform in Helsinki to Support Bike Share Scheme Growth

Moventia and CityBike Finland OY go live with Artificial Intelligence technology that is simplifying and optimising Helsinki’s Bike Share Scheme.

 

LONDON, 10 July 2018 – Stage Intelligence, the leading provider of Bike Share Scheme management solutions, has partnered with Moventia, a widely recognised urban transport operator, and CityBike Finland OY, the Bike Share operator for Helsinki, to deploy its BICO Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform in Helsinki’s Bike Share Scheme. Helsinki CityBike has gone live with Stage’s AI management platform and is supporting over 600,000 residents with their new season of Bike Sharing.

The BICO solution is actively collecting citywide data and optimising Bike Share operations in Helsinki. The partnership with Stage Intelligence enables CityBike to use its BICO AI platform to drive usability of its more than 2,000 bikes and increase ridership for the new season of Bike Sharing as the CityBike scheme continues to expand into the city of Espoo.

Stage specialises in developing, training and deploying AI technology to optimise the management and operations of Bike Share Schemes globally. Its flagship BICO solution has been helping multiple Bike Share operators around the world deliver a better optimised scheme while reducing operational costs.

“Helsinki is in one of the top ten most livable cities in the world with strong cycling infrastructure and public transportation links. We are excited to go live with CityBike and its partners to transform how over 600,000 Helsinki residents experience Bike Sharing every day. Over 96% of its residents have a positive attitude towards cycling and we’re proud to be using city data and AI to get even more people cycling through optimised and efficient Bike Share Scheme management,” said Tom Nutley, Head of Operations at Stage Intelligence.

BICO is being used to optimise Helsinki’s Bike Share Scheme and get more of its citizens cycling and using public modes of transport. Helsinki is one of the top cities internationally for cycling with around six journeys a day made by bike, according to the City of Helsinki’s Bicycle Account 2017 report. By 2020, it’s aiming to increase the number of journeys taken by bicycle from 10% to 15%.

“Cycling is quite often the fastest and most comfortable way to travel in Helsinki and the city has built quite a strong culture around it. The residents love cycling, and we want to get more people on two wheels and using the city’s extensive public transport methods,” said Jordi Cabañas, GM of the Bikesharing Division at Moventia. We chose Stage Intelligence because they understand the city and have strong processes that can help us achieve our ambitious goals in making Bike Sharing more accessible and attractive to all citizens of Helsinki.”

With population figures expected to reach 860,000 people by 2050, city officials and planners are focused on getting more of its residents cycling. Helsinki City Bikes have been at the heart of promoting the city’s cycling efforts.

“Public transportation is a big part of Helsinki with over 50% of the population relying on it for its daily commuting and Bike Sharing plays a very special role in this. Over 60% of users combine CityBike with public transportation and use it to get around the city as the Bicycle Account report states. It’s why we’ve gone live with Stage Intelligence to deliver a more efficient Bike Share Scheme and help more people in Helsinki see bikes and public transportation as a viable mode of travel,” said Juha Pitkänen, Service Manager at CityBike Finland Oy.

Stage’s BICO solution is currently deployed in numerous Bike Share Schemes around the globe including Divvy Bikes in Chicago, MIBICI in Guadalajara and Helsinki CityBike with several more deployments in the near future. It has been crucial in reducing operational costs for operators and enabling the rapid roll out of new features for its riders. Stage Intelligence has supported the Divvy Bike Share Scheme achieve over 15 million trips in Chicago.

 

About Stage Intelligence

Stage Intelligence specialises in developing Artificial Intelligence solutions for the transport and logistics industry. Its flagship solution, the BICO recommendation engine, delivers real-time intelligence for the management of Bike Share Schemes.

BICO enables precise and optimal decision making and has been purpose-built to remove the complexity from managing resources within a Bike Share Scheme. Partners choose Stage Intelligence because its solutions increase their agility, adaptability and enable them to move beyond traditional manual processes.

Since its inception in 2011, Stage has collaborated with leading Bike Share operators from around the world to solve complex problems and deliver solutions that have a lasting impact on their operations.

www.stageintelligence.co.uk

 

About Moventia

Moventia is a public transport group since 1923, with a clear international vocation. Moventis is specialized in all type of mobility services (regular, urban, interurban and special) and moves around 110 million passengers per year with 1.300 buses, 41 tramways, special services and 26.000 bicycles, both traditional and electric with 1.700 stations. Regarding the automotive industry – 65 years this year – Movento sells about 27.000 new and used vehicles of the 17 brands it represents. Moventia, with 4.000 employees, is defined as a socially responsible group committed with the society, people, institutions and the environment.

www.moventia.com

 

About CityBike Finland OY

CityBike Finland is a subsidiary of Smoove and Moventia. The consortium is responsible for producing and operating the Helsinki Bike Share System. It was awarded a ten-year bicycle contract for the city of Helsinki, which was signed in December 2015 between HKL and the Moventia-Smoove consortium. CityBike Finland has also won an eight-year contract for the Finnish city of Espoo.

The Helsinki Bike Sharing service offers a turnkey solution aimed at providing the citizens of Helsinki with the most advanced public bicycle service in the world via a service with 1,500 bikes and 150 stations.

www.citybikefinland.fi

 

4 Reasons Why Scheduled Bike Share Redistribution Doesn’t Work

The biggest challenge in Bike Share Schemes is to provide an optimised service each and every time. Operators that choose schedule-based distribution are often limited in their rebalancing efforts and are not efficiently serving the local rider demand. That impacts ridership and rider experience as a whole.

It’s up to the operators to ensure they have a simple and optimised management process that’s tailored to the cities and the riders. It enables them to offer better services, build stronger ridership and reduce operational costs. Yet many operators still choose to carry out schedule-based redistribution.

Schedule-based distribution means drivers have pre-set information or a schedule of how many bikes to pick-up and drop-off and at what locations. The schedule is created irrespective of the city it’s operating in or its specific needs. This can often mean that by the time the first job is completed the whole schedule could be wrong.

Poor rebalancing and management processes can also add to the growing situation of bikes being left as a nuisance to cities and its citizens. Singapore has seen first-hand the impact of poorly managed resources that have a huge effect on the day-to-day lives of its residents.

To combat indiscriminate bike parking, The Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore passed a legislation earlier this year aimed at tackling this issue for over 100,000 bikes in the area. Since then it has introduced several new measures including reduced fleet size and Bike Share licences to ensure operators are better managing their schemes.

It is now more important than ever to have a smart management process that takes the guess work away from Bike Share redistribution.

Here’s four reasons why schedule-based redistribution doesn’t work for modern Bike Share Schemes:

 

  1. Dynamic Nature of the City

Cities globally are different from one another. They all have different population, city topography, transport hubs and many other factors that make each and every city unique. A schedule that works well in one city could completely fail in another.

  1. Each Day is Different

The day itself plays a huge role in Bike Share ridership. When you combine the changing weather, major city events, transport strikes and a number of other things, the demand for Bike Share Schemes are likely to fluctuate on a daily basis.

  1. Evolving Rider Behaviour

Some riders may take a bike out every morning and every evening to commute between work and home. That makes it predictable and easy to manage. In reality, for many riders their behaviour is constantly changing. Increase in tourists or a rise in public transportation services could affect the demand for bikes in different areas.

  1. Inefficient Use of Staff

What we see every day with schedule-based distribution is that drivers are going from one location to another with no real insights. They often go to a docking station that is expected to be empty and find that it is full. This is huge waste of time, money and resources.

For modern Bike Share Schemes, scheduled-based redistribution doesn’t work. There are too many variables that make schedule-based redistribution time-consuming and inefficient. Operators instead need simpler and smarter processes that can predict demand and manage resources with accuracy.

At Stage Intelligence, we use four weeks of prior ridership data to track rider behaviour and mange redistribution effectively. We predict replenishment values up to 12 hours in advance to enable operators to make quick decision and move quickly to win new riders.

Please get in touch if you’d like to find out how we use data and AI to transform Bike Share redistribution: tom.nutley(@)stageintelligence.co.uk

Delivering On-demand Team Management to Bike Share Operators

Bike Share operators around the world are looking for easier and better ways to manage its operations and operational staff. They need solutions that can make internal team management simple and reliable.

Today, Bike Share operators are struggling with outdated team creation and management processes that restrict how they carry out their day-to-day tasks. They are burdened with manual inputting, time implications and constant miscommunications internally.

When your operational staff are not working together efficiently, your whole scheme could be at risk. Your redistribution and internal operations are not optimised and that could have a negative impact for your riders.

It’s why team management has been a big priority for us. Operators are looking for easier ways for its distribution teams to work together, communicate and collaborate. In BICO version 15.1.0, we made it simple to create and manage multiple teams.

Operational staff can now set up teams in real-time without the need to do so in advance. They are free to start their day and update the app as they pick up new job requests. It saves valuable time and effort for staff and enables them to operate more efficiently when redistributing the bikes.

Bike Share operators really benefit from a dynamic management platform that can keep up with the changing industry. You’ll see better optimised internal processes that enable your teams to work together to better serve the market. That gives riders complete confidence in your scheme.

Riders can trust that your bikes and resources are available when and where they need them. They can rely on your scheme to get to their end location each and every time. That builds strong ridership and helps you grow locally and around the globe.

In BICO v15.1.0, we’ve worked closely with our partners to add new features including:

 

  • Simple Team Creation

Our BICO Android application lets users create teams with the app by selecting a User Name, Shift, Break Time, Vehicle, Depot and Team Name, which can be easily edited.

 

  • User Verification

The latest BICO update includes a simple user verification process that can be set up by entering the username and password. This is an optional feature and can be turned on or off.

 

  • Usability & Stability Improvements

BICO 15.1.0 also comes with a range of usability improvements, general bug fixes and stability improvements.

 

At Stage Intelligence, we’re continually updating our app to deliver a simpler, faster and better way to manage a Bike Share Scheme. We’re improving the usability, stability and performance of the app while adding new features to give partners around the globe a reliable Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform.

 

If you’d like to find out more about the latest BICO update and how that impacts Bike Share operators around the globe, please get in touch: 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

 

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’