Google Losing Up to 250 Bikes on Its Mountain View Campus Weekly Due to Theft: GPS to the Rescue

1 Feb 2018

The brightly colored bicycles on Google’s Mountain View campus are a symbol of the company and its commitment to its employees. Intended to allow employees to easily move freely about the large complex, the bikes are supposed to be a company perk.

Lately, though, many people living in the community are viewing them as a symbol of a company failing to do enough to prevent their theft. Especially as more and more of these bicycles are being found dumped in Stevens Creek.

It is obvious that someone is stealing the bicycles and intentionally dumping them in the creek, though no one is sure why this is happening. How bad has the problem become?

According to 9to5Google, the bicycles are disappearing at a rate of between 100 and 250 per week. They have been spotted in a variety of locations over time, including local lawns, hotspot rooftops, and other locations.

The problem with bicycles landing in the creek was one that received the ire of many local residents who felt Google wasn’t taking the situation seriously or doing enough to prevent these thefts. The more bicycles began showing up in the creek bed the louder the voices of dissent became.

This led to Google tacking action in the form of installing GPS tracking devices on the bicycles. Doing this allows Google employees to recover the bicycles themselves, even if they are in a creek or river.

In addition to using GPS tracking technology, which has been highly beneficial in helping to recover stolen bicycles, the company is adding staff to help patrol for and pick up these missing bikes. In fact, Yahoo! Finance reported that Google hired 30 new contractors for the sole purpose of recovering these bicycles that were found in the community.

Another technology Google is testing to help secure these bicycles is installing locks that only Google employees can unlock using their mobile phones. It is the combination of the three that will net impressive results.

GPS tracking can help by establishing geofences and alerting staff members whenever the bicycles leave the campus – and by providing real-time location services to aid in their recovery. The locks will help prevent thefts in the first place, and a dedicated staff to retrieve the bikes will eliminate the “litter” problem the bikes are creating throughout the area.

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