Now, Uber is working on self-driving scooters, bikes: Details here
We all are aware of Uber's ambitions to bring autonomous vehicles into the market. The ride-hailing giant is already testing some self-driving cars in the US, and now, a new report has indicated that it is also planning to develop bikes and scooters of the same kind. It has even started hiring for the new program under a division called 'Micromobility Robotics'. Here's more.
Uber pitched its plan to hire for 'Micromobility Robotics' at a robotics event last weekend. The company didn't reveal exact details of the project, but 3D Robotics CEO Chris Anderson confirmed that the division would be part of Uber's JUMP group, which operates shared electric bikes and scooters. As such, the company will leverage advanced technologies to make its electric bikes and scooters autonomous.
"The New Mobilities team at Uber is exploring ways to improve safety, rider experience, and operational efficiency of our shared electric scooters and bicycles through the application of sensing and robotics technologies," Uber's Advanced Technology Group said about the work in the new division.
With the element of autonomy, JUMP could drastically reduce the operational cost of its bike and scooter sharing business. As of now, riders leave their bikes/scooters at the destination, where JUMP-hired contractors go and pick-up the vehicle for charging and repairs. However, when the same vehicles would be self-driven they could go to the charging point or to the customer's location on their own.
As a result, third-party contractors will not be needed and Uber will be able to operate a fleet of self-driving bikes and scooters, ready to be deployed to any point, at a much less cost. Notably, the company would also be able to re-deploy the vehicles in less time, thanks to the recently unveiled swappable battery capabilities on the next-gen JUMP bikes.