Uber acquires electric bike-sharing firm Jump

Dockless bicycles, rather than cars, are at the heart of Uber's latest purchase.

South Korea reboots driverless regulations after fatal Uber crash The country hopes a smarter traffic system will improve the safety of emerging driving technology tests.

Uber has acquired Jump, an electric bike-sharing company which is an Uber partner in San Francisco.

Financial details were not disclosed.

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Jump Bikes is an electric, dockless bike-sharing service. The company has worked with Uber over the past few months in San Francisco by offering Uber Bike, which allows users to rent out electric bicycles through the Uber app.

While Uber is most commonly associated with cars and as an alternative to the traditional taxi, it seems that the company also sees promise in bicycle sharing.

In an announcement, the company hinted that smart cities may pave the way for future business. The company said that Uber's "ultimate goal" is to "make it easier to live without owning a personal car," and so other forms of transport -- including bicycles -- may further this dream.

As pollution rates spiral in today's modern cities, governments worldwide are constantly implementing schemes to try and entice citizens to make use of public transport and, in some cases, more eco-friendly options.

This can reduce pollution and congestion on the roads as well as the need to hunt for parking, and these are aspects that Uber says will promote different modes of transport, including an Uber, bicycle, or other means.

Uber says the pilot with Jump, which included 250 bicycles available to hire for $2 for every 30 minutes, has shown promise and has provided a springboard for Uber's "transition into a multi-modal platform."

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Jump

According to Ryan Rzepecki, CEO, and founder of Jump, the startup is excited about the acquisition, as it will give Jump the reach and scale to expand more effectively than it may do on its own.

"At our core, we are still the same team that is passionate about partnering with cities to increase cycling, but joining Uber presents us with the opportunity to realize our dreams faster and at a much larger scale," the executive added.

Uber's acquisition is a positive note for the company which has courted controversy worldwide for years. However, in France, this week is a bitter one -- as the European Commission has approved the country's right to take Uber to court for operating an illegal taxi service.

See also: Uber settles Waymo lawsuit over stolen trade secrets

The case relates to the use of unlicensed drivers for the UberPOP service, which has been suspended in France. As UberPOP is a separate service which encourages multi-sharing and fare splitting, the ruling will not impact Uber's general operation in the country.

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