Japan is making bike-sharing a thing

A carrier in the country is making a system that would let you book GPS-equipped bikes and drop them off almost anywhere when you're done.

Daniel Van Boom Senior Writer
Daniel Van Boom is an award-winning Senior Writer based in Sydney, Australia. Daniel Van Boom covers cryptocurrency, NFTs, culture and global issues. When not writing, Daniel Van Boom practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, reads as much as he can, and speaks about himself in the third person.
Expertise Cryptocurrency, Culture, International News
Daniel Van Boom
Getty Images

If you've ever tossed around the idea for an app with friends, the phrase "like Uber , but different" has probably come up. Well, a new platform from Japan is like Uber, but different enough to be interesting.

Softbank, a carrier in Japan, wants to make bike-sharing a thing. It's making an Internet of Things-based system that makes renting a bike to nip about town incredibly easy, reports Nikkei Technology.

You'll hire and pay for bicycles through an app. From there, you'll be able to pick up a two-wheeler from one of many bike stations the company will set up around the country. When you're done, the bike will need to be returned to a station. Any station, not necessarily the one you got it from.

Each bicycle will be equipped with a smart lock, according to the publication, which has an in-built GPS and can communicate with your phone.

There are over 70 million bicycles in Japan, though they're generally used for recreation rather than daily commuting. A system like this would likely go over swell in Europe, home to most of the world's most bike-friendly countries, says the Copenhagen­ize Design Company.