Hello Global bikes find proper parking place, thanks to AI

Hello Global, a mobile computing travel platform in Shanghai, now require users of its shared bikes to return them to their assigned spots in Songjiang thanks to an artificial intelligence technology developed by the company, officials of the district’s Yueyang Community, the project’s joint promoter, said.

Residents living around the Songjiang Sports Center and the Zuibaichi Park subway stations were recently surprised when they found that shared Hello bikes that used to be placed randomly around the area were parked neatly at an allotted place.

“During the peak traffic hours in the past people hurried to work and parked the shared bikes, private bikes and motor bikes randomly around the area. Even if we wanted to neatly park a bike, we couldn’t find space,” said a Hello bike user surnamed Zhao. “But now the shared bikes have their own parking space and we find it much more convenient to park a bike neatly.”

“Bluetooth track spike technology is used in our new project in Songjiang. The technology is user-friendly in the long term. Users have to park the bikes at a given place. If they park the bikes elsewhere, the locks of the shared bikes will bounce off and a message from the Hello Global app will warn the users to park the bikes as required,” said Li Yu, a public relations director with Hello Global.

In the Bluetooth track spike technology, Bluetooth track spikes are buried in the ground of the parking lot. When users park the shared bikes, the Bluetooth track spikes and the shared bikes’ smart locks will exchange signals. Chips inside the smart locks, by judging the intensity of the signals, will calculate the distance between the bikes and a Bluetooth pile and therefore judge whether the bikes have been properly parked. The technology’s positioning precision can be narrowed to within one meter.

“We hope the technology can regulate a bike user’s parking behavior. So far 95 percent of the bikes have been returned and parked properly,” said Hu Xiaojiang, director of the urban grid comprehensive management center of Yueyang Community.

The technology, while reducing chaotic parking behavior and ensuring traffic safety for passersby, also slashes the company’s labor cost on bicycle management.