SoBi (Social Bicycles) is developing a streamlined, dock-free bike sharing system. Their design will eliminate expensive docking stations and integrate tracking and security directly into the bicycles, in the process cutting up-front costs by as much as 75%. From SoBi:
SoBi’s industrial designers, engineers, and software developers are working together to build the world’s first bicycle with an on-board computer, mobile communications, and an integrated GPS-enabled lock. This disruptive product and the supporting mobile and web applications will create a flexible, scalable, and affordable bike sharing system.
Subscribers will locate bikes using their mobile phones. Once a bike is located, it can be unlocked by entering a PIN on the bike’s combination keypad/lockbox. When the trip is complete and the lock is re-inserted, the bike notifies the system that it’s available for the next user.
SoBi is currently raising funds at KickStarter to build their pilot fleet.
[via Bicycle Design]
[Hat tip: Michael R.]