Uber Announces Intent to Purchase JUMP Bicycle-Sharing Startup

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On April 9th, 2018, Uber announced its intent to purchase JUMP, a New York-established dock-less bicycle-sharing platform founded in 2008.

The service allows the easy rental and use of pedal-assisted bicycles that may be left at any bicycle rack unlike those of their competition.

The move by Uber to acquire and scale-up this service is reassuring as the company was recently preoccupied by the first known incident of a driverless vehicle hitting and killing a person. Unfortunately for Uber, this incident caused the ready fleet of self-driving test vehicles to be banned from tests within some of the most populous cities in North America. A major problem associated with the ban of Uber’s self-driving test-fleet is that they will be slower to recouping the R&D investment costs of these disruptive innovations.

It seems this move by Uber is meant to remedy this aforementioned issue, as a concern for investors has been the business losses suffered recently, and the self-driving fleet was their main plan to regain lost revenues (those dedicated into R&D) and establish themselves as the future of ride-sharing. The long-term plan they wish to implement as soon as possible involves cutting costs of Uber rides to $1 per mile, which is fairly improbable without driverless vehicles.

“David Bailey, a professor at Aston Business School, told the BBC: ‘Uber is looking at this partly because it is fast growth area but it is also looking forward to a time when we won’t own cars.’” So, it seems that not only is their foresight in regard to ride-sharing, but to vehicle ownership in general. It appears that Uber is imagining, and actively investing in, a future when bicycles are the only vehicle people may own, and cars are driverless, which is thought to be safer and less costly.