The new features of Jump’s e-bikes include swappable lithium-ion batteries, a control dashboard, rectangular holders for smartphones and a one-meter long cable that locks at the rear. The custom-produced batteries allow Jump to swap out the depleted batteries for fully charged ones in a minute instead of pulling in the entire bike for charging. The battery-swapping design enables Jump exclusively to offer solely electric bikes, without having to include any conventional bikes for backup in its fleets.
In addition to facilitating a greater uptime of Jump’s fleet, the new design also aims to reduce theft and abuse of the vehicles. In case of damages, users can put the bikes in “repair mode” right away through the dashboard. Users are required to lock up their bikes with the cable lock before they end the trip. This lock design makes it easier to secure the bike compared to the U-shaped metal lock Jump used before and is anticipated to reduce the risk of bikes being placed in the wrong places.
Nick Foley, project head at Jump, said, “every key subsystem – whether it’s the motor, the locking system, the battery system, the user interface – are all custom engineered and porting information up through our cloud.” He did not disclose the economics of the new model and neither the prognosed revenue that they would be bringing in for Uber. With a 3-5-year anticipated lifespan of each bike, Jump is aiming at having maintenance for every 1,000 miles travelled per bike. However, “not all subsystems are engineered to last that long”, said Foley.
Right before the holidays, I wrote about the unsolved problems of the dockless feature that have been bothering the micro-mobility actors, including bikes and scooters, for long. And right before the New Year, Jump presented a solution that may have a chance to keep their bikes in one piece for a longer period. Requesting the users to lock the vehicle before leaving it to the next user is practically not a bad idea, given that the bike will then have a higher chance to stand at an appropriate place than otherwise. Monitoring the use of the bike is also helpful for regaining more control over how the bikes are treated during operation. However, surveilling individuals’ mobility routines and following their journeys may be sensitive. Uber’s new system will likely collect a handful of sensitive data that the company would presumably claim that they are collecting “anonymously”. This leads us back to the concerns we have with privacy risks introduced by MaaS data. How should personal data be protected while information is shared and distributed through the cloud?
Written by Anne Faxér, RISE Viktoria.