Why Uber wants to build scooters and bikes that can drive themselves

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Uber is looking to hire people to help it develop autonomous scooter and bike technology, according to Wired-editor-turned-robotics-entrepreneur Chris Anderson. The goal would be to allow bikes and scooters to “drive themselves to charging or better locations.” People interested in joining the project can fill out this form.

Uber acquired the bike- and scooter-sharing startup Jump last year and has continued offering electric bikes and scooters under the Jump brand. Efforts to develop autonomous bikes and scooters will be conducted under the Jump brand, according to Anderson. Uber also has a separate self-driving car project called the Uber Advanced Technology Group.

One of the biggest logistical challenges for companies renting out electric bikes and scooters is how to keep the batteries charged. Companies use a variety of strategies for recharging. Some companies have employees who drive around the city picking up bikes and taking them back to charging stations. A Jump competitor called Bird has experimented with paying people to collect scooters and charge them at home.

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