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Mobike to manage chaotic bike parking with smart parking system

A man uses a smartphone as he rides a Mobike bicycle through an intersection in Beijing on October 19, 2016. Photo: Getty Images

Bike-sharing firm Mobike will install a smart parking system in its key designated parking lots in Beijing in an effort to manage random bike parking, the Beijing Morning Post reported on Tuesday.

Equipped with advanced micro sensing devices, the smart parking system can monitor whether the riders are parking the bikes in the designated parking bays, the newspaper quoted an official from Mobike as saying.

The users who leave the bikes in the designated parking areas will get some rewards, while those who fail to park the bikes in a proper way will have their points deducted in a points-based credit system, the Mobike official said, according to the report.

Some bike-sharing companies have started using credit rating system to standardize the use of bikes. Ofo, a key competitor of Mobike, has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Sesame Credit, a social credit rating system created by Ant Financial Services, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group. Under the agreement, new Ofo users with a Sesame Credit score of 650 or higher can register on the Ofo app without making a deposit.

Mobike's move could be seen as a renewed effort to tackle increasingly deteriorating traffic problems caused by bikes operated by bike-sharing companies after Beijing's government announced to issue rules to normalize bike parking on the already crowded streets. The city's government also called for the use of big data by bike-sharing companies as part of its efforts to update the low-speed traffic system.

Previously, there were reports saying that some bike-sharing firms are considering using electronic fence as a way to manage bike parking. The technology will force riders to leave bikes in the designated areas after use, otherwise, they will be unable to lock the bikes and complete the payments via their mobile phones. But some experts said that the technology is not feasible for the time being because it will increase operating costs.

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