I'm not sure if this story has been reported in English, so I've translated it from the Swedish. (http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/fordon_motor/article3778344.ece "Link to original article.")
Bikes that plan the trip for you
October 18, 2013
There’s a bike rental boom going on worldwide. Bikes with GPS and built-in view screens will roll out onto Copenhagen’s streets at the end of October. And the Danish system is tied to public transit.
(Photo caption: Screens show when the buses go.)
Mexico, China, and France are among the countries betting big on rental bikes. In New York, the biggest bike rental system in the U.S. opened in July. The movement is growing fastest in Asia.
Fewer traffic jams and less air pollution are some of the benefits for the world’s quickly growing cities.
But the bikes that are now being rolled out in Copenhagen are the first of their kind. They are equipped with a viewscreen with built-in GPS and maps on the display.
They plan the trip and even show train departures.
The bikes will be an integrated piece of the public transit system. Travelers will be able to use their bus cards to continue their trips even with the bike and they can be reserved before you arrive. Initially, they will be available at 65 different locations in the city.
“The bikes contribute to a mobility in the urban environment that cannot compare to buses or cars,” says Jeffrey Dost, one of the founders of Go Bike, the company that created and designed the system in Copenhagen.
Denmark is one of the most bike-heavy countries in the world and the thought is to get those who earlier drove cars to switch to public transit. Bikes will make that an even more attractive alternative.
What further distinguishes the project in Copenhagen is that the bikes will be electric bikes.
“It’s one thing if one wants exercise, but we think of it first and foremost as a means of transportation. Now you can wear nice clothes and not be sweaty when you arrive,” says Jeffrey Dost.
The bikes are designed from the beginning to stand up on the street. The bikes themselves are constructed from aluminum and the tires are filled with a foam to prevent puncturing. There’s no battery in the computer, and the software is locked to make it less attractive to thieves.
In Go Bike’s premises by Copenhagen’s central station bikes roll in and out in the project’s current pilot phase.
The company has received research visits from the whole world. Representatives from the city of Malmö have also visited.
“Because it is such a new and advanced system it is exciting to follow. At the same time we’re just watching to see how it goes, just because it has never been tried before,” says Olle Evenäs from the street department in Malmö.
But the Danish project also has critics at home for being too costly and too advanced. It remains to be seen if the people of Copenhagen will appreciate it.