Weekend Thoughts - 10.21.17

   Image  by  Pexels , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Pexels, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. After some victories in the Chinese market, investors in the U.S. are hoping that bike sharing will be the next Uber. The key to the success in China has been the use of a dockless system that allows users to unlock a bike with an app on their mobile phone. That means when a user is done with their rental bike they can leave it wherever they would like—which will automatically lock the bike—and then the next renter will be able to unlock it with their mobile phone! This is pretty exciting for me as a regular cyclist because anytime the friction between renting a bicycle is decreased, it means that more people will be interested in renting them, which means more cyclists on the roads, which is a good thing for cyclists everywhere. Let's hope that the accomplishments in China translate to the United States, where cycling is not as common and the vast majority of roads are not designed with bicycles in mind (yet).

2. There are certainly tons of challenges to think and work through before autonomous vehicles on the roads become the norm, but the former Google self-driving car project Waymo is already starting to train police officers on how to respond to accidents involving self-driving cars. Cops and first responders will need to know how to access an autonomous vehicle after it is involved in an accident, which will be brand-new experience for them, and the cars will need to know how to navigate to a safe place on their own—out of the path of moving traffic. I'm encouraged to see so much work being regularly done in this space, and greatly anticipate the days when hopping in an autonomous vehicle is no big deal at all.

3. Speaking of cars, Electric Vehicle chargers are starting to pop up at Shell stations in the UK. Access to charging stations is an important problem to solve, because without them electric vehicles will not be able to go very far! Being able to pull into a "gas station" to plug in your self-driving electric vehicle is a vision of the future that I can get behind.

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.