The amount of bicycles that have suddenly appeared in London has spiked new concerns over safety and vandalism, especially since the bikes have plenty of technology packed into them. However, the bikes also make use of this technology to protect themselves from theft with some even requiring passcodes and keys to be unlocked.
Before getting a bike unlocked, one must first be a member and then casual users must enter a number into the keypad that can be obtained at the docking station or online. After this they can take their bike out and use them. Those who are actual scheme members will receive a key so that they can skip the keypad and quickly get access to their bikes.
In addition, each of the bikes and the keys that unlock them has a ‘Radio Frequency Identification Device’ that allows the amount of time that the bike has been used between its last dock. The ID chips are similar to those that are placed in animals in order to keep track of them.
The docking systems are also quite intricate pieces of technology with a system of lights in place that notify owners of the condition of the bicycle. Red lights show that the bike cannot be hired; amber lights show that the account is being checked out, and green means that a bike can be unlocked and used.
The only problem with the new bike hire system is that it does not take the Oyster card even though the card is the standard for the London transportation network.