Syrma Designs RFID Solution for Bike-Sharing Program
Syrma Designs RFID Solution for Bike-Sharing Program

May 03, 2016

As major cities increasingly explore green alternatives to urban gridlock and smog-creating carbon emissions, bike-sharing services, unmanned street corner kiosks holding smart bikes for temporary rental are rapidly gaining popularity, projected to become a $6B global market by 2020. A pioneer in the urban bike-sharing movement sought to custom design a proprietary system for managing their asset inventory worldwide.


A bicycle-sharing system, public bicycle scheme, or public bike share (PBS) scheme is a shared transport service in which bicycles are made available for shared use to individuals on a short-term basis for a price or free. Many bike share systems allow people to borrow a bike from a “dock” and return it at another dock belonging to the same system. Docks are special bike racks that lock the bike and only release it by computer control. The user enters payment information, and the computer unlocks a bike. The user returns the bike by placing it in the dock, which locks it in place. Other systems are dockless. For many systems, smartphone mapping apps show nearby available bikes and open docks. In July 2020, Google Maps began including bike shares in its route recommendations. The technical concepts of bike-sharing, tracking multiple bikes around town while networking their low-power base station kiosks represent a unique mobile design challenge. While tens of thousands of smart bikes needed to be tracked via GPS, their remote base bike-sharing kiosks needed to tabulate hourly user rentals accurately and accurately process high volumes of bike-sharing payment transactions while operating under limited solar power.


We teamed with an emerging leader in the global bike-sharing space to implement the perfect solution: a mobile bike-sharing infrastructure incorporating advanced RFID technology. Our engineers designed a robust network model structured around a controller area network (CAN) protocol in collaboration with the company. This network links assets via the real-time internet connectivity and accurately processing electronic user payments hosted on high-capacity cloud servers. An essential element of the system is our embedded 5mm RFID tag, which keeps each bicycle in constant connection with the central network. We’ve worked with bike-sharing companies to overcome multiple hardware manufacturing challenges, such as developing a custom assembly process to accurately solder 0402 SMT components at an accelerated throughput rate to support aggressive deployment schedules. These businesses would typically have to farm out design and manufacturing among several vendors, often with mixed results. We delivered a one-stop, end-to-end EMS solution from concept to completion.


We contribute our 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise spanning multiple diverse markets. We look forward to discussing how we can deliver world-class products for OEMs across the globe. We understand our home Indian market, familiar with its vast regulatory and selling environments. We foster growth opportunities within India through our strong technology incubation ecosystem. We also assist global OEMs in entering the Indian market by leveraging the local supply chain and favorable operating environments for cost reductions.

Our flagship Chennai location opened in 2006 and lies within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for electronics manufacturing, offering economic incentives for imports and exports. This primary facility is within 90 minutes of the Chennai seaport and 20 minutes to the international airport. Additional road and rail connectivity links to the rest of India and beyond and infrastructure advantages with faster import and export clearances. We also have labor force flexibility, both technical and manual, to scale to demand rapidly.

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