E-Scooters From Ford & Spin
Electric, Remote-Controlled E-Scooters
Ford is in the e-scooter business. The Ford owned electric scooter company Spin just introduced its S-200 e-scooter. It's a 3-wheel scooter with a maximum speed of 15.5 mph. The S-200 has three independent braking systems, turn signals and a camera on the front and rear of the vehicle. Spin co-developed the vehicle with Segway-Ninebot. Spin is now moving into an international partnership with microbolity startup Tortoise that specializes in autonomous technology and remote controlled operations for e-scooters. The two plan to initiate pilot programs in North America and the UK. Tortoise works with other manufacturers to remote control their scooters for pickup, delivery and parking.
Operations Rolling Out in 2021
Spin is rolling out operations this year. It starts this spring in Boise, Idaho with 300 of Spin's new e-scooters in a pilot driving program. Tortoise remote control operations will handle scooters left blocking locations like sidewalks, handicapped zones and building entrances. Tortoise has remote access to the e-scooter consoles and cameras and can remotely move vehicles to appropriate parking spots. Spin is talking with more than a dozen cities in the US and UK, including NYC, to launch operations. Also by the end of 2021, Spin says it will be possible to hail an e-scooter on demand, or schedule a time and location for a ride.
Big Market Potential
Micromobility has big growth potential. In 2020, venture capitalists poured $1.7 billion into the sector. The demand is clear. Many urban commuters are keen on finding zero emissions, solo means of travel. While the S-200's hardware and software have AI capabilities for autonomous driving, the launch vehicles are all manually operated. Spin says it is focusing on data analysis to determine safe autonomous uses for the future.