Earlier this week Uber and Hyundai unveiled a flying electric car that will become the cornerstone of the upcoming Uber Air fleet.
While that's still a few years off, a more immediate addition to Uber's offering in Australia will be e-bikes.
Uber announced at CES its plan to bring its Uber Jump program Down Under. At this stage, the company is only bringing its bikes. In multiple cities around the world including Los Angeles and Wellington, Uber has also rolled out e-scooters.
The e-bikes are said to be on a boat to Australia right now and will roll out in "several" cities over the next few weeks. While Uber is yet to reveal which cities will get Jump first, it is understood that Melbourne and Brisbane have bid for the tenders.
While other e-bike services already exist in Australia, they are yet to take off in any significant way. But considering this is Uber and it is throwing a lot of money at this roll out, perhaps this time it will work.
Uber has stated that the bikes are heavy and expensive, therefore it's in the company's best interest to look after them and ensure they don't litter the streets.
"They’re all GPS-tracked, there are sensors in the bikes as well to identify any mechanical issues... and they all have swappable batteries. Throughout the day we can have mechanics come out and swap those batteries over," Uber Australia and New Zealand spokesperson Lucas Groeneveld said at a media briefing.
While it's unclear how much a ride will cost in Australia, we do know that the bikes have three gears and a top speed of 32km/h.
Uber's e-bikes will be available in the regular Uber app, as well as a dedicated Jump app. One it's available you can book a bike via these steps:
- Tap the mode switch on the home screen to switch the app view to bikes
- You’ll see the available JUMP bikes around you, and can reserve a bike
- Using the QR code in the app, unlock the bike.
- Once you’re finished riding, you can lock the bike using the built in cable lock to any public rack in the bike zone shown on the app’s map
The author attended CES 2020 on a scholarship from the Consumer Technology Association.