If you live in a city where electric scooter companies are licensed to operate, chances are you’ve stumbled upon an isolated scooter far from its counterparts. These can be annoying, especially if they obstruct a busy sidewalk. Spin wants to solve this problem. The Ford-owned subsidiary is working with a company called Tortoise to roll out a feature called Spin Valet on its next generation of e-scooters that will allow them to move remotely between sites.
While there is a machine learning component in Spin’s Valet technology, it will be remote operators who will repair the scooters using front and rear facing cameras. This should hopefully help the company avoid some failed Tesla met his Intelligent summon function. Spin Valet will optionally allow you to call an S-200 at your location, either before a trip or when looking for a ride. Suppose your daily commute involves a 15 minute walk from a metro station to your office, you could use the feature to set a scheduled pickup. At one point, Spin also plans to use the technology to automatically move their scooters to a nearby load center.
Spin will first test 300 S-200 scooters in Boise, Idaho starting this spring, before offering them in other markets in Europe and North America throughout 2021 and beyond. The company worked with Segway to design and develop the model. It has a three-wheel drive system, with three other independent braking systems. You will also find turn signals on the handlebars and near the rear wheel. Taken together, the company says these features make for safer driving since the S-200 can withstand more adverse road conditions.
As you might have guessed, Spin isn’t the only company trying to take advantage of machine learning and cameras to make their scooters smarter. Towards the end of 2020, a competitor in Europe called Butter began to test his own view of technology. Like Spin, Voi said it would help him keep his scooters from cluttering the city streets. It is only a matter of time before more companies roll out similar features to their fleets as it promises to both streamline their operating costs and combat some of the stigma e-scooters have won. thanks to inconsiderate customers.