Chinese shared e-bike service upgraded to support social distancing
Posted: 22 April 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
According to data from Hellobike, the number of e-bike users in Wuhan has experienced a tenfold jump compared to the day before the city was quarantined on 23 January 2020.
Hellobike, a shared e-bike service in China, has launched Yunqi, a new e-bike model equipped with smart voice navigation systems, designed to help citizens maintain social distancing measures. The feature can be activated through Bluetooth connection and offers riders route directions while keeping their focus on the road.
As China has seen a drastic drop in the number of newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, many cities are emerging from lockdown. While people are turning to shared mobility services to maintain a safe physical distance, e-bikes are said to be becoming a popular mode of transportation among urban citizens.
The new model is equipped with a Beidou satellite navigation system and a chipset that are designed to provide precise navigation and positioning. The system, alongside GPS and WiFi, aims to allow staff to pinpoint damaged e-bikes quickly with digital maps, and automatically disables the unlock function when the battery volume is below 30 per cent, reducing the risk of malfunction or vandalism.
“Shared modes of travel, along with advancing technology and online platforms, have reshaped travel habits in China. Shared two-wheelers ease traffic congestion and take the pressure off public transportation, providing users with a convenient way to get from subway stations to their offices”, said Li Kaizhu, co-founder and President of Hellobike.
“However, shared e-bike businesses still face the problems of bike maintenance and limited parking. Efficient battery swapping is a challenge for e-bike providers,” Kaizhu continued.
“In the face of the challenges of the industry, we strive to improve the technologies for e-bike, offering new models, better batteries and smarter features for the future of shared mobility. At Hellobike, we continue to align our mission to benefit our city and give our communities access to efficient, eco-friendly transportation.”
Currently, approximately one billion Chinese citizens take trips on two-wheelers daily, 700 million of which are made on e-bikes.