Uber is already in the bike-share business, with its Uber Jump program. The current e-bikes are first collected & distributed by contractors who then keep them charged, and redistribute them to locations based on demand. This week though, a new initiative was revealed from their Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group (ATG), which would add new autonomous capabilities for the bikes to self-drive back to their charging stations.
Uber Jump Self-Driving Bicycles
An article by The Independent tipped us off to the plans, which hadn’t officially been announced yet by Uber. The UK paper uncovered the news via tweets from a robotics expert and a forum post in which Uber sought job candidates to help develop the new program. While we’ve covered Jump in the past before they were acquired by Uber in 2018, this latest news is certainly their biggest and most ambitious development.
Current Jump bikes are GPS-equipped and have electric pedal assistance, helping you overcome hills and get to your destination more quickly. We’re eager to learn how the new bikes will tackle self-driving duties – maybe some training wheels, or even gyroscopes?! But unfortunately, details remain slim thus far. It also remains to be seen if Uber can overcome the coming legal and regulatory hurdles (or an army of sentient e-bikes!). We’ll continue to follow the story closely, but in the meantime you can check out the current Uber Jump program if you need a pedal-assist ride.