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From Pull to Push communication to increase responsiveness, optimize data & costs and avoid vandalism & theft

Is it possible to lower data management costs while optimizing responsiveness towards issues like vandalism, bike & fleet maintenance, or theft?

Anti-theft and Vandalism Systems

It is common knowledge that theft and vandalism are among the major cost generators of a bikesharing system.

For this reason, during the evaluation phase of an e-bike designed for sharing it is important to take into consideration some characteristics, such as:

  • An anti-theft and GPS tracking device
  • Anchoring cable or ring lock systems for the parked vehicle
  • A motor block that makes it difficult to use the e-bike in case of unauthorized movement

Furthermore, it is preferable to opt for vehicles with components specifically designed not to be tampered with, such as the ones adopting non-commercial bolts.

This design can, in fact, make the vehicles highly recognizable, thus thieves are less likely to steal the e-bikes for personal uses.

But e-bikes for sharing are not just about components: thanks to sophisticated GPS technologies, it is possible to transmit the bike movement data in real time. This leads to further considerations about connectivity & IoT.

The importance of connectivity technologies

Connectivity plays a central role as the vehicles are provided with GPS tracking devices to avoid theft & vandalism issues.

Furthermore, connectivity acquires an increasingly central importance in the management and cost optimization of a bike sharing system.

For this reason, it is essential that the vehicle is equipped with its own digital layer i.e., a set of software functions that enable it to communicate with the user and with the management system.

In order to develop this special digital level, the e-bike must be equipped with an integrated IoT module, with connectivity and remote diagnostic capabilities of the entire vehicle.

The data collected by the module must also be easily made available to other systems in order to ensure easy integration with third-party platforms such as MaaS.

The possibility of programming the vehicle’s visual and acoustic interaction interfaces not only allows the e-bike to be adapted to current usage scenarios, but also makes the vehicle able to be remotely updated (OTA) when the scenario changes.

New generation of IoT Technologies: Push communication

IoT modules of the latest generation adopt Push communication i.e., with the digital layer of the vehicle constantly monitoring all the peripherals on board

Usually, vehicular connectivity is characterized by Pull communication, also known as on Demand.

With this method, the management system requests the vehicle to transmit its status at regular times.

As a consequence of this communication process, the system, in order to be reactive, must necessarily generate a high quantity of requests and therefore of traffic towards the vehicle even when the latter is not in operation.

Alternatively, IoT modules of the latest generation adopt Push communication i.e., with the digital layer of the vehicle constantly monitoring all the peripherals on board (including inertial platform, motor, lock, lights, GPS position, signal level, battery charge status and any other devices) and autonomously reporting to the control system when the status of one of these devices changes.

This means having lower costs in data traffic, an optimized management of swap battery processes and more flexible customization of behaviour based on real conditions of use. Furthermore, when considering the adoption of the e-bike and the related management and maintenance system, the possibility that this information can be fully integrated with the most popular payment systems and ticketing systems for customer care should not be overlooked, in order to offer an increasingly performing service while collecting data, which is essential for supporting strategic business decisions.

In the end, we can state that this approach carries many benefits with it:

  • it allows the system to be more responsive, instantly sending reports in case of parking in prohibited areas
  • it automatically reduces the speed when crossing pedestrian areas subject to speed limits
  • it makes customer service more efficient thanks to real-time data coming from the vehicle i.e., history (log) of the actions.

Discover more about electric bike share connectivity by contacting one of our mobility experts.

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