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Tulsa to Deploy RFID Automated Bike Rental Racks

QI Systems, a Canadian provider of contactless solutions, last week introduced an innovative RFID-based bicycle rental automation system that will allow the public to check out and return rental bikes from unattended bike racks. Dubbed Cyclestation, the system will be initially deployed in the Tulsa, Oklahoma metropolitan area.
Jun 04, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

June 4, 2007—QI Systems, a Canadian provider of contactless, access control, and tracking solutions, last week introduced an innovative RFID-based bicycle rental automation system that will allow the public to check out and return rental bikes from unattended bike racks. Dubbed Cyclestation, the system will be initially deployed in the Tulsa, Oklahoma metropolitan area.

The system is simple. Each bicycle is tagged and secured to the RFID reader-equipped rack. To check out one of the bikes, a user scans his or her credit card for identification and authentication. The bike is released for the user to ride for a prescribed amount of time. If the user does not return the bike within that time, the swiped credit card is charged a fee. The system determines the presence of each bike based on whether its RFID tag is within range of the reader.

The racks are all wired to a central server so the system can monitor the bicycle inventory across multiple locations. This allows users the convenience of being able to check in a bike at any of the racks within a system, not just the one where the bike was originally checked out.

According to local newspaper Tulsa World, four Cyclestations including a fleet of 75 "Tulsa Townie" pink bicycles will be deployed at the city's River Parks recreation area (see the photo). The single-gear cruiser bikes will be available free for 24 hours; if not returned within that time, the user's credit card is charged $100. Some of the bikes have already arrived in Tulsa, but the system will undergo testing for another few weeks before being opened to the public.

The $300,000 Tulsa Townies project was commissioned by the Warren Medical Research Center as part of an effort to promote healthy living. QI Systems, which plans to commercialize Cyclestation and has already received distributor interest, has pledged to donate a portion of profits from each sold unit to the Saint Francis Children's Hospital in Tulsa.

Read the announcement from QI Systems
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