A new IoT-based bicycle sharing system in Japan

SoftBank Corp and Openstreet, which was spun off from SoftBank by using a “new business proposal system,” have begun offering the “Hello Cycling” IoT-based bicycle sharing system.

The two companies plan to offer the service across Japan by tying up with service providers in many regions.

Users sign up for the service and obtain accounts. Then, it becomes possible to easily look for registered bicycle parking lots called “Station,” reserve a bicycle and pay a fee by using a smartphone or personal computer.

It is possible to return a rented bike to a parking lot different from the one where it was rented, making it easy to use the service for moving from one place to another.

Also, if a smart card for transportation (e.g. Suica) is registered with the system, the “smart lock” of a bicycle can be unlocked just by touching the operation panel of the bicycle with the card, making it possible to rent a bicycle without making a reservation.

Service providers can introduce the Hello Cycling system by attaching a smart lock, which features a GPS (global positioning system) and communication functions, and a special operation panel to each bicycle. The usage situation of bicycles and the vacancies in parking lots can be checked on a website. And fees can be set in real time in accordance with the situation. Any kinds of bicycles can be used with the system.

Sharing Service Inc in Tokyo launched “Share Pedal Nakano,” a bicycle sharing service using the Hello Cycling system, in Nakano Ward, on Nov 11.

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