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Tembici rolls out bike sharing across Latin America with Google Cloud

For more than 12 years,Tembici has been democratizing easy access to transportation, promoting sustainability, and improving life in urban areas through bicycle sharing programs. The company got its start in Brazil as a university project. When I joined as a software engineering specialist in 2019, the company was just expanding to Chile and Argentina. In 2020, we began introducing e-bikes. And in 2022, we debuted our service in Colombia.

We’re Latin America’s leading micromobility company, offering a fleet of more than 22,000 bicycles and e-bikes, including cargo bikes and hundreds of hand bikes that attach to wheelchairs. The mobile apps that let riders book our bikes have been downloaded more than 1,900 million times. We operate many solar-powered stations for the bikes in four countries, with more to come.

I’m fortunate that my career at Tembici has progressed along with the company’s impressive growth trajectory. Today, I head our software engineering team, which develops services to advance our company’s goals of increasing both our bike fleet and revenues by 50% in 2023. With recent investment from the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) and an exciting new partnership with Uber to make our bikes available via the Uber app, we have a long way to grow.

How are we expanding our infrastructure from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, and other major Brazilian cities to Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Bogotá, and beyond? In part, with the help ofGoogle Cloud, which seamlessly scales to support our business, underpinning our IT infrastructure with powerful and reliable capabilities across South America.

Shifting into high gear with AI for bike travel

Tembici usesBigQuery and its artificial intelligence and machine learning features to identify patterns in bike usage by location and reposition bikes according to demand. Our continuous improvement algorithm helps us analyze large volumes of traffic data and reallocate bikes depending on the day of the week and time of day.

UsingLooker, customers and Tembici staff alike can visualize our station locations on a city map. With a click, customers can get more information on the stations that are most convenient for their planned route. The Tembici facilities operations team, meanwhile, uses the map chart technology to granularly assess geographic and bike usage data to optimize decisions about new station placements.

Google Kubernetes Engine makes it easy to scale our containerized applications and quickly roll out new features. Overall, our Google Cloud environment has enhanced our efficiency and agility, enabling our teams to focus on delivering better services that further promote micromobility.

With our route calculator, for example, riders can indicate the distance they plan to travel and evaluate the costs of alternative forms of transportation. For example, a daily commute of 20 km in Brazil would translate to a monthly expense of more than R$1,200 by car or R$230 in average public transportation fees. With Tembici shared bike use, however, the cost is around just R$30.

Maurício Villar, Co-founder and COO of Tembici

Pedaling toward a more circular economy

Our software generates a trip summary for customers each time they complete a ride. Riders can check how many kilometers they pedaled, how many calories they burned, and the volume of carbon emissions they prevented.

It’s gratifying for the Tembici team to see the impact that cyclists are making on our society. To date, our riders have pedaled enough to cycle around Earth 19,000 times. They’ve saved our planet from more than 41,000 tons of carbon emissions, equivalent to the clean oxygen produced by over 290,000 trees. 

Google Cloud’s commitment to sustainability, which is so well-aligned with Tembici’s values, is just another reason that Google Cloud is a great partner for us as we expand our bike sharing programs and make a positive global impact with technology.

Tomás Martins, Co-founder of Tembici

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