Uber opens a robotics division to build autonomous bikes and scooters

Uber announced its new Micromobility Robotics unit, aimed at improving the charging of e-bikes and scooters through self-driving technology.


January 22, 2019

TechCrunch reports that Uber wants to develop autonomous technology for its JUMP group, responsible for its bike and scooter-share programs. 

A big JUMP in micromobility

Aptly named “Micromobility Robotics,” Uber’s new unit will integrate driving and sensory tech into its vehicles to be less reliant on humans to charge them. Instead, the scooters and bikes will drive themselves to charging stations or relocate to locations with higher demand.

Back in December, Uber rolled out its next generation of JUMP bikes, equipped with self-diagnostic capacity and interchangeable batteries. 

All of these additions will work together to improve the economics of Uber’s micromobility business.

Time to sit back and enjoy the ride

As with all autonomous vehicles, logistics will be one of Uber’s biggest hurdles. And, as Electrek points out, scooters and bikes are far less stable than cars.

Uber will also have to deal with local laws and, more importantly, the public. When Lime and Bird first hit the streets, people all but lost their damn minds. What’s going to happen when they see scooters bunny hop off curbs with no passenger aboard?

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