AMSTERDAM — Last year in the city of cyclists, locals found a new culprit to blame for the city's congestion: bike-sharing operators. A handful of companies flooded the streets with 5,500 dockless shared bikes. Residents responded by piling them on curbs and labeling them vuilnis, Dutch for garbage.
The attempt at increasing the number of bikes in Amsterdam was an effort at easing stress on a maxed-out transportation system.
"We have no extra space," said Tijs Roelofs, smart mobility manager for Amsterdam. "The urgency to do things in a different way is increasing."
The global trend of shared mobility initiatives is conflicting with some local cultures and existing transportation systems. And these conflicts raise hard questions for companies and city planners eyeing self-driving shared vehicles as the solution to urban congestion.
"Car-sharing is the steppingstone towards autonomous mobility," said Gregory Duconge, CEO of Vulog, a French car-sharing operator that works with cities and companies. "Autonomous vehicles might have issues with thousands of cars dumped into cities."