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Put together Cruiser bike, Smartphone and GPS navigator and enjoy Social Bike Sharing

by Rusti 2011-10-06 15:47


Chicago Bike Winter Art Show Social Biking ArtYou can use your GPS enabled smartphone to pinpoint the closest available Sobi bike sharing spot. Social Bicycles system is a smart bike-sharing project that does not need special stations. Social Bike, the Sobi, is equipped with an onboard GPS navigator, mobile communicator and locking device. You can use the GPS enabled smartphone application to discover and unlock your next shared bike. Moving the intelligence to the bike eliminates need for special docking stations. The smart bike GPS based sharing approach reduces the system cost and the bikes can be unlocked by typing access number on the bike's keypad. The Sobi bike with a GPS locking and Point-to-point sharing functionality includes onboard GPS navigation, cellular transmitter, and electronic lock that allow people to find and unlock bikes via smartphone.

Social Bike SchoolSobi bicycle is easy to mount and dismount from the dock. For high reliability it has an innovative shaft drive perfectly suited for bike-sharing, considering the higher durability and cleanliness compared to a traditional chain with chain-guard. Increasing demand to use bicycles for people's day to day commute in the congested streets of modern metro cities is a result of overwhelming street traffic. Different flavors of bicycle sharing programs are currently run by many cities worldwide. The innovative concept of Sobi attracts urban planners, New York is pioneering prototype testing of the Sobi system which will become available early next year. Sobi bicycles could be picked and parked by people anywhere in the city, eliminating the need of a specialized or dedicated infrastructure, no need for extra office or garage storage space is needed with Sobi initiative. 

As per the initial plans, Sobi city cruiser riders will be able to locate the bicycles by means of GPS enabled  smartphone application that would enable them to pinpoint the nearest available bike location, and make reservation of the bike for immediate use. Once GPS navigator system locates and helps reserve the shared bike on the docking spot, the bike rider will have enough time to claim the social bike and enjoy riding it for as long as needed.

The overall success of the Sobi initiative depends on certain level of collective collaboration among the bike rider community. The current rider will have to park and lock the Sobi bike. From then on the Sobi bike becomes available for the next rider. The GPS navigational system keeps track of the bike route and also has its say when locking and unlocking of the bike is performed. The rider locks the bike, which can then be unlocked by the next rider using a PIN code transmitted into the mobile application that can be entered into the bike’s built-in keypad by the next rider. The bike has an integrated light beam powered by solar panels that will also provide energy for the GPS navigator and the rest of the on-board electronics.


Sobi GPS enabled bike and Mobile application

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