SG Bike, a Singapore-based bike-sharing company, is to partner with telco M1 to explore the use of Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) in the bike-sharing business.
The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, stating that they will collaborate on NB-IoT applications to help resolve problems with indiscriminate parking of shared vehicles. While bike-sharing has support from the government of Singapore, indiscriminate parking of returned vehicles is an ongoing issue for companies.
SG Bike and M1 intend to work together to use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for more accurate geolocation services, helping SG Bike to confirm whether or not a bike has been returned to the appropriate parking venue. Currently, most bike-sharing firms use GPS trackers which are useful, but cannot accurately determine exact physical location.
Exact locations of equipment, as determined by RFID technology, will benefit the company in resolving ongoing problems with bicycles that are not returned to the appropriate location, costing time and money to locate equipment that could be rented to another user. It is also intended to benefit the user, as real-time accurate inventory data means no lost time on the part of the consumer.
Alex Tan, CIO of M1, said that his company was excited to work with SG Bike to help Singapore to achieve a “car-lite society,” adding that, “as a leading IoT service provider, we look forward to supporting SG Bike with the implementation of an efficient IoT solution nationwide to enhance the aesthetics of the city, as well as the safety and wellbeing of our communities.”
The new plan will use 1,300 existing SD Bike geostations, which will use RFID chips connected to the M1 NB-IoT network rolled out last August as part of the Singapore Smart Nation initiative.
The Smart Nation initiative is the government’s vision of a digitally interconnected country, using technological advancements in digital identifications and payments, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things to improve the community and business environments in Singapore.
SG Bike CEO Albert Teng said, “We currently have over 1,300 geostations installed nationwide, and we are excited to see how this partnership can further improve our technology to help bike sharing become a success in Singapore.”
The companies hope that, if successful, similar RFID/NB-IoT technology can be applied to other smart-sharing opportunities, including umbrellas, scooters, and the like.