The first batch of 300 shared bikes equipped with a high-precision navigation and positioning chip, powered by China’s self-developed BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), have been trialed in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province, media reported on Wednesday.

The chip enables centimeter-level positioning when connected to the BDS foundation network in Hubei Province. The positioning accuracy of shared bikes at present in use varies by tens of meters. Analysts say the new chip will help solve the problem of illegal parking in public areas, the Hubei Daily reported.

The high-precision chip will help the bike-sharing app determine whether the user has parked in designated areas after use. Users who fail to park bikes inside these spots will be given an initial warning and fined a dispatch fee from the second offense. Qingju bikes, operated by Chinese ride-hailing giant DiDi Chuxing, have been trialed with the high-precision chips, Hubei Daily reported on Wednesday. 

It is reported that the chip was independently developed by Wuhan Mengxin Technology Corp.

Besides BDS, the chip can simultaneously receive satellite signals of the US’ GPS and Russia’s GLONASS, which will boost positioning stability in complex urban environments, according to Menxin Technology.

The present accuracy of most shared bikes is not precise enough to position them, which causes difficulty for users, Hubei Daily reported, citing an expert from Wuhan Navigation and Location Based Service Institute.

“Raising the accuracy in positioning can reduce the operation cost of bike-sharing companies, as user management will be easier. It can also reduce illegal parking and occupation of public areas by setting an ‘electronic fence’. What’s more, users will be trained to park bikes in designated areas,” said the expert.

At a later stage, the operations platform will release more shared bikes equipped with the BeiDou chip to serve the public, and will continue the test in more applied scenarios, Chutian Metropolis Daily reported.