Published on October 5th, 2012 | by Nathan3
Bike Share Program Pedals onto the AT&T Wireless Network
AT&T and Social Bicycles recently announced that AT&T is “going to be the exclusive mobile internet provider in the United States for their launch this fall in select markets in California, Idaho and New York.”
The company Social Bicycles is a builder of ‘smart bikes’, those that use GPS tracking along with an integrated locking system and connectivity to AT&T’s wireless network. Similar to Zipcars, potential users can “locate, reserve and unlock bikes through a mobile phone application on your smartphone or tablet; allowing for easy pick up and drop off anywhere.”
And when you’re done it’s as easy as locating any bicycle rack that happens to be near your destination and then using the app to check it back in.
“Social Bikes is the first public bike share system that relies completely on a mobile network to track, locate and unlock bikes,” said Ryan Rzepecki, CEO, Social Bikes. “The SoBi system is the only technology that provides a solution for the entire spectrum of bike share. It’s affordable enough for small-scale deployments and robust enough to serve larger municipal deployments. We’re excited about the benefits AT&T network will add to the system.”
One of the main benefits of systems like these is that they are very cheap compared to station-based systems. By using mobile and internet reservations and real-time GPS tracking of their bikes, centralized-stations have become obsolete.
As part of their software, C02 emissions prevented, dollars saved (versus driving), and estimated calories burned are all tracked for the users to see.
Social Bicycles will be launching programs in three major markets in the autumn – Buffalo, NY; Sun Valley, ID; and San Francisco, CA. More markets are expected to open in early 2013.