Tested for more than a year in Bordeaux and Saclay, in the Greater Paris South area, the bikes in shared rental (free floating) from the Parisian startup Zoov make extensive use of connectivity and technology. The company has just unveiled an innovative station that allows bikes to be recharged by hanging them on each other, like supermarket shopping carts.
franceinfo: What makes the Zoov bike particularly high-tech?
Arnaud Le Rodalec, CEO of Zoov : Our bike, fully developed in-house, is equipped with numerous sensors which allow it to detect technical problems and automatically alert a maintenance technician. Thanks to on-board accelerometers and an artificial intelligence algorithm, we can, for example, understand that abnormal vibrations correspond to tire deflation.
In addition, our bikes will soon be able to detect anomalies in the urban environment, such as potholes on the road, and pass this information on to the responsible local authority. We also use artificial intelligence to organize the reallocation of bikes in the field, to guarantee maximum availability.
How are your parking / charging stations also innovative?
We have developed an electrified station that has the capacity to recharge the bikes hanging on it like supermarket trolleys. There is a first terminal, anchored in the ground, which serves as a point of attachment for a first bike, and all the other bikes hang on to each other.
Energy flows through all bikes. This allows us to offer a very compact station, which can accommodate fifteen bikes on the surface of a car parking space, very light to install and also much cheaper than our competitors.
In the United States, MIT is working on an autonomous bicycle project capable of moving from one place to another on its own, to solve the problem of rebalancing the fleet. Is it the bike of the future?
We are not yet working directly on this type of innovation, but we are very connected to innovation, and that is one of the ideas that we find interesting and exciting. However, these are innovations that will take time to arrive, a bit like the autonomous car, which we have been talking about for more than 10 years, and which is still only under test.