Shared bicycles without physical locks hit city streets
Local riders now can find "unlocked" shared bicycles on the streets of Shanghai, which allow them to borrow and lock the bikes through a mobile app instead of using a physical lock.
Recently, shared bike providers Meituan and Hellobike placed batches of bikes without physical locks on local streets.
The new Meituan shared bicycles are easy to identify for their yellow baskets, while the old version has a black basket.
However, the new Hellobikes don't have significant difference in looks from the older models, and the identification mainly depends on whether it has a physical lock.
These bikes are all equipped with hi-tech inside wheel locks rather than the original horseshoe lock.
After scanning the QR code of a new bicycle, riders will find a notification popping up saying that the bicycle needs to be locked by the app.
When the rider arrives at their destination and is about to return the bike, he or she just has to open the app and click the button "I want to return the bike". After getting to the nearby shared bike parking point, one needs to click the button "confirm return" and then the system will take money from the user's account.
In recent years, shared bicycles, considered a convenient and environment-friendly means of transportation, have become favored by more and more riders.
Last year, the total cycling mileage of Meituan shared bike users in Shanghai reached 397 million kilometers, achieving a carbon reduction of 19,200 tons.
Data from Hellobike shows that as of the first half of this year, local riders cycled a total distance of nearly 40,000 kilometers, which is expected to reduce nearly 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions throughout the year.
The unlocking innovation of shared bicycles not only meets the needs of more people for smart travel, but will also help make Shanghai a city of green travel and low-carbon lifestyles.