Uber was forced to withdraw their autonomous cars from roads in 2018 following a fatal accident in which a cyclist was killed. Now, reports have emerged that Uber is trying to explore autonomous bikes and scooters.
As reported by TechCrunch, Uber is planning to integrate its autonomous technology in its bike and scooter rental program. Not much is known at the moment, but according to the CEO of 3D Robotics, the company has announced a “Uber Micromobility Robotics” program at a DIY robotics event held on the weekend.
Anderson’s tweet also says that the Micromobility division will be a part of Uber’s JUMP group which allows users to rent scooters and electric bikes.
Exciting announcement from @UberATG at today's @DIYRobocars event. "Micromobility" = autononomous scooters & bikes that can drive themselves to charging or better locations. Hiring now pic.twitter.com/sOjroo8XZI
— Chris Anderson (@chr1sa) January 20, 2019
Another report by Telegram has said that Uber has already started hiring specialists for the project.
“The New Mobilities team at Uber is exploring ways to improve safety, rider experience, and operational efficiency of our shared electric scooters and bicycles through the application of sensing and robotics technologies,” Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group wrote in a Google Form, which was meant for inviting applications for career opportunities in the program.
From the scarce information available as of now, it seems like Uber is planning to deploy robots for charging its vehicles. One can assume that the company wants to make it easier to supply freshly charged vehicles in different areas to users. It is also possible that Uber might automate its battery-swapping procedure for faster availability of vehicles and, thus, improving the overall rider experience.