About OBI

The Open Bike Initiative was an ad hoc project that launched in 2013 with a goal of designing, developing, piloting and disseminating a model for bike sharing based on open hardware and open source software. The original project objectives were to:

The idea was to provide a template for a new bike sharing model that could be implemented (relatively) easily and (relatively) inexpensively, even by small organizations. Our hope wss that this will result in a significant increase in the number of bike sharing programs, with corresponding environmental, health and economic benefits.

In the summer of 2013 we operated a 30-bike pilot project on several Intel campuses in Hillsboro, Oregon, using a text message-based lock code distribution system we now call “OBI 1.0.” Nike subsequently adapted this model for a large scale system on their Beaverton, Oregon campus, with about 400 bicycles (they subsequently replaced their OBI-based system with “Biketown” bikes). Oregon Health and Science University, Kaiser Permanente and Columbia Sportswear have also implemented OBI 1.0-based systems. The OHSU, Kaiser and Columbia systems were still up and running as of 2017.

In late 2014, Open Bike Inc., an Oregon social benefit corporation, was formed as a vehicle for commercializing the OBI technology and managing the ongoing Open Bike Initiative project. In 2015 we built and tested prototypes of our “OBI 2.0” GPS-enabled smart locks. After assessing the prototype technology and the state of the emerging commercial market we decided that the technology wasn’t commercially viable, however, and the OBI 2.0 project has been suspended.

As of 2017, this site is primarily serving as an archive capturing activities related to the OBI 1.0 effort.