Ford, like a lot of traditional car manufacturers, is becoming very keen on the personal electronic transport space.
It has announced that micro mobility arm Spin is to team up with software company Tortoise to bring teleoperated three-wheeled e-scooters to cities across North America and Europe. The scooters can be operated remotely and can, for example, be autonomously moved from a docking station directly to a user.
The feature will potentially also solve one of the key issues for urban management – scooter pile up, keeping them off pavements and roads.
The first batch of its S-200 model will be deployed to Boise, Idaho this spring with other cities and regions to follow. Following the launch, the company will debut an app that includes a “scooter-hailing” option to enable riders to schedule or request a real-time scooter pickup.
The Spin S-200 are high-end scooters that feature turn signals, three braking systems and two front wheels for enhanced rider stability. They were developed in conjunction with Segway-Ninebot . They are fitted with Spin Valet, a platform that enables a remote operations team to move misplaced scooters using Tortoise’s repositioning software and the vehicle’s built-in cameras.
Ben Bear, chief business officer at Spin, told Smart Cities Dive that remote repositioning and eventual scooter-hailing can address “one of the big challenges” with shared micro mobility: service reliability. “We can make sure that there’s always a scooter outside of your house.”
S-200 riders are still required to take a photo at the end of their ride to confirm proper parking, Bear said. “Ultimately we think most of the riders of these services want the services to continue, and so they’re willing to do small things like park correctly,” he said.