Autonomous Bicycles: A New Approach To Bicycle-Sharing Systems

Maitane Iruretagoyena

Sanchez, Naroa Coretti, Luis Alonso Pastor, and Kent Larson. "Autonomous Bicycles: A New Approach To Bicycle-Sharing Systems." 2020 IEEE 23rd International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC). IEEE, 2020.


In the current paradigm of rapid urban growth, it is critical to create new and innovative mobility solutions that ensure an efficient, inexpensive and reliable flow of people throughout the city. In this paper, we propose the implementation of autonomous driving technology to address some of the current challenges of bicycle-sharing systems. We also propose a solution to provide bicycles of the necessary lateral stability to drive autonomously. Under this view, a fleet of autonomous shared bicycles would work as a mobility-on-demand system: when a user requested a ride, the nearest available bike would drive autonomously to wherever they are. Then, the user would ride it like a regular bike, and upon arrival to the destination, the bike would leave autonomously again for the next user. Such a system would eliminate the need for rebalancing and docking stations, and the needed fleet size would be smaller than in current station-based and dockless systems. In addition, it would solve the difficulty of finding available bicycles or docks and eliminate walking distance, improving the user experience and incentivizing its use.

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