Dockless electric scooter and bike sharing initiatives, becoming increasingly widespread in the US, are still facing an initial backlash due to various issues, but they have the potential to make city traffic safer, as well as more efficient.
These two-wheeled vehicles are fundamentally Internet of Things devices. They are located and unlocked via smartphones, and they ‘“along with their rider’ s phones- continuously generate data from integrated sensors which are transmitted to the systems of the companies that own them. This data includes information About the location of each connected bicycle, how long each ride takes, which docks need to be restocked, and which ones are full.
This data is always available in real time. Some initiatives make their system data open and publically available, inviting developers, engineers and statisticians to analyze, develop and visualize them. This openness increases our pool of knowledge and our decision making efficiency in terms of transportation and municipal infrastructure, potentially providing a massive help to city design and traffic management, reducing the huge financial and environmental cost of congestion.
Dockless scooters and bikes can be extremely helpful in solving the perennial “last mile’ problem of public transportation. This can make them very popular in users and help overcome initial reservations which are caused by the rise in the number of accidents and injuries brought by the widespread introduction of such vehicles in urban environments.
In fact, the introduction of a fully interconnected data grid, and a reimagining and redesign of city streets and traffic thoroughfares, which is expected to take place in the next few years, to account for these two-wheelers as well as for autonomous vehicles (which are rapidly coming closer to reality) can make Smart City streets safer and more traffic-free, than ever.
The original article can be found on The Next Web.