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A Study: Expanding Bike Sharing with AI for Students

E-Bike share programs
The rise of e-bikes hasn't been the only revolution recently. AI promises to reshape student mobility and enhance the commuting experience.
E-Bike share programs
Written by Robb Dorr

Bicycle-sharing is not a new concept. It’s actually been around since 1965 when Provo introduced the system in Amsterdam. This smart city concept wasn’t overly popular. It only began to gain traction when it was combined with artificial intelligence (AI) and marketed as a tool that reduces air pollution, travel costs, and traffic congestion.

In this article, we’ll discuss how AI has boosted the bicycle-sharing system and its benefits for students and e-bike riders living in big cities.

What is AI? And Why Is It Important?

AI is the simulation of intelligence processes carried out by machines. AI has advanced significantly in recent years and is now used in almost every field of study. It has been an invaluable tool in science and technology, helping companies understand huge datasets that would take thousands of hours for people to complete manually.

Creating a successful bike-sharing system is not an easy endeavor. It requires investments, environmental alterations, and an adequate system for managing the bikes, locations, and users. This is where AI comes into the picture. Over the years, it’s been used to enhance bike-sharing programs and make them a simple tool that enhances students’ lives.

AI and Bike-Sharing: The Connection

In 2019, Stage Intelligence introduced its BICO AI Platform, which aimed to resolve the challenges of bicycle sharing in smart cities. And the program is already used in smart cities such as Paris, Chicago, Helsinki, and Guadalajara.

A few years back, AI was limited to big players in the market and required tons of money for development or deployment. But the BICO AI platform changed all that, enabling cities to improve the bike-sharing program for citizens.

Operators with up to 2,000 bicycles can use the technology’s algorithms and data to simplify the sharing scheme. It also provides important information, such as weather conditions and city events, to help operators handle the demand. Most importantly, it helps operators make smarter decisions about distributing bikes across cities, such as placing vehicles where they are most needed.

The company analyzed the results after deploying the AI platform in smart cities. It found that AI positively influenced the growth of bike-sharing programs, efficiency, and sustainability, improved the riding experience, and simplified work for operators. It has also reduced the wasted journeys on redistribution and increased ridership in the process.

The BICO AI report also found increased ridership for Divvy Bikes in Chicago, MIBICI in Guadalajara, and City Bikes in Helsinki by up to five daily rides. Based on this information, we can see that students and other riders enjoy the program and use it continuously for travel needs. In only a year, the platform stimulated the reduction of journeys by organizing redistribution trucks and having fewer bikes moved.

Bicycle Sharing Results in Helsinki

Helsinki is one of the leading cycling cities in the world. BICO AI has been used by the urban transport operator Moventia as well as The City Bike Finland to improve their bike-sharing programs. This covers over 2,000 bicycles across Helsinki.

Over 96% of residents in the city have positive feelings about the system and use it frequently. Based on the increased usage in recent years, the city aims to further boost the number of bike journeys to ensure cycling remains among the city’s most desirable modes of transport.

Bicycle Sharing Results in Chicago

Chicago’s Divvy Bikes has also seen great growth in ridership after using AI to improve its program. The decrease of redistribution time reached 4,000 hours, and with fewer trucks transporting bikes on the road, the carbon footprint has been reduced even further. The residents of Chicago enjoy an affordable way to travel thanks to having over 5,800 bikes in 580 docking stations.

Bike-Sharing Positivity

Smart cities worldwide have proven that interest in bicycle programs has long been strong, but it took a while to implement effective programs that were easy for riders to access. AI has offered huge advantages, and based on the results of this study, we can expect the numbers to grow even further.

Find out more about e-bikes in our guide to why electric bikes are so expensive, and discover more e-bikes that are ideal for urban dwellers in our guide to the best folding e-bikes.

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About Our Editorial Team

robb dorr
Written by Robb Dorr
Robb is a massive cycling enthusiast who has more than 20 years of non-motorized cycling experience. He started to lower the barrier of entry to cycling and reduce the intimidation people can experience when getting into the cycling world.

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