A first E-Bike terminal was opened in April 2018 at the central cemetery of Vienna by Sycube. The cemetery proved an excellent partner, interested in offering a modern mobility service to its many visitors to navigate the expansive site. A second terminal is at the main mobility point. 12 E-Bikes and a Cargo-Bike are in operation. The E-Bikes are available via the SIMBike App or through a chip card offered at the spot. Sycube developed the whole system including a new locking system for the E-Bikes.
The bike-sharing service will be technically based on a station-bound charging bar (Bikeholder) with a physical rental terminal (Terminal Light). Two types of E-Bikes (BESV CF1 and I: Sy) were specially converted for a Sycube bike-sharing system. As a new technical development, a control board for the Axa Wired Lock was developed which is attached to the frame tube in a separate component. This control board offers the customer the advantage that he can safely close the vehicle in the event of a break (stopover) or deliver the vehicle within the vicinity of a bike-sharing station.
A bike holder is on the one hand the mechanical housing for mounting and holding the charging point (or the locking system) and on other hand, protects against the physical stress caused by forces that occur when setting and removing the vehicles.
For easy return, Sycube uses an insertion aid (plastic ring). This can be done in different RAL colours. In order to be able to uniquely assign the parking spaces or the locking systems, the parking spaces are numbered. The numbers are printed on self-adhesive label tags. The designated area on the plastic ring is slightly sunk. As soon as a docking unit of the bicycle is in the locking system, this is closed and can only be opened by the authorised user or service personnel. The service personnel can also unlock the locking mechanism by opening the maintenance flaps in the longitudinal beam. This allows for the removal of the bike in case of emergency. The maintenance flaps are protected by appropriate locks. Each bikeholder is equipped with control electronics.
Generally, the lock is resistant to vandalism so at least 10,000 N (Newtons) of force against the charging point is sustainable. The lock will reliably open at a tensile load of 300N. The offset of the vehicles from the centre axis of the charging point is a relevant measure, since in practice the vehicles are not always in flight despite guidance in the base plate. The lock can reliably open at an offset of 5° from the central axis. A removal of the bike is only possible once a borrowing payment exchange by the customers has been made. It is thus not possible for unauthorised persons to remove a bike without permission.
The borrowing by the customer can be done via app or credit card. This can be done after a single entry of the user data (email, address, PIN). In the app, the station status (number of bicycles) is displayed visually and textually. The customer selects an available vehicle, confirms the borrowing request by entering their PIN and starts the journey. The aim of this integration is to offer SIMBIKE as a product in the app to the registered users, as well as to display the availabilities and prices. If the user decides to leave SIMBIKE for the Wien Mobil app, the customer data will be transferred to the Sycube app. User data of the customer are transferred and only need to be supplemented with the payment data. This allows a significant reduction of the booking process and consequently higher conversion rates.
The development of the control board for the frame lock offers further interesting possibilities to extend the functional spectrum of a bike-sharing station. These are virtual rental stations. A virtual rental station consists structurally of an electroless platform into which a BLE (Bluetooth low energy) Beacon is integrated. This beacon provides a "BLE bell" within about 20 meters of the station. The station is powered by a CR17345 battery with a life of about 2 years. As a grading element a mark is placed on the ground within which the customer should turn off the wheel. Parking off the mark is possible, as long as the vehicle is inside the BLE bell.