Earlier last year, Uber acquired electric bicycle sharing company Jump for $100 million. Now, the ride-sharing service seems to be taking the next step in its push toward self-driving bikes and scooters: hiring a “micromobility robotics” team.
The team will be tasked with building scooters and bicycles that are capable of autonomously navigating to charging stations. The goal is to save costs on paying external contractors to collect and charge them outside their service schedules.
Uber's description of what other tasks the team will perform remains unclear as of this time, stating only that it plans to apply "sensing and robotics technologies" to "shared electric scooters and bicycles." But it's safe to assume that the company may be building vehicles that can perform a self-parking maneuver in addition to driving themselves to charging points.
Its plan to develop this type of vehicles comes at a time when Uber is only beginning to put its self-driving cars back to the testing phase again per approval from Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation. This was after the service's suspension earlier last year in several locations due to a fatal accident involving a 49-year-old woman who was hit by an Uber car in Tempe, Arizona.
Source: The Telegraph