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Spin to bring remotely operated e-scooters to cities in 2021

It marks the first concrete plans to roll out the three-wheeled e-scooter, the Spin S-200, which has been co-developed with Segway-Ninebot, via a partnership between Spin and Tortoise.

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The three-wheeled S-200 scooters are able to rebalance themselves
The three-wheeled S-200 scooters are able to rebalance themselves

Ford Motor Company micro-mobility subsidiary, Spin, has announced an exclusive international partnership with software company Tortoise to bring Spin S-200 remotely operated e-scooters to cities in North America and Europe in 2021.

 

It marks the first concrete plans to roll out the three-wheeled e-scooter, the Spin S-200, which has been co-developed with Segway-Ninebot, via a partnership between Spin and Tortoise.

 

Valet remote platform

 

The newly launched Spin Valet platform makes it possible to remotely operate Spin’s fleet, and automatically re-park scooters out of the pathway of pedestrians and other sidewalk or street traffic. Spin Valet combines Tortoise’s software with the front and rear facing built-in cameras on the S-200. The company claims this technology will eventually make it possible for an e-scooter to travel several blocks to riders.

 

The S-200 first S-200 fleet will be piloted in Boise, Idaho this spring. This is the first time the technology will be launched with a robust, more stable three-wheeled e-scooter, which can better withstand different road conditions due to its enhanced suspension. S-200 claims to offer a safer ride with three independent braking systems (regenerative rear brake, front and rear drum brakes) and turn signals (on handle bars and near the rear wheel).

 

The newly launched Spin Valet platform makes it possible to remotely operate Spin’s fleet, and automatically re-park scooters out of the pathway of pedestrians and other sidewalk or street traffic. Spin Valet combines Tortoise’s software with the front and rear facing built-in cameras on the S-200. The company claims this technology will eventually make it possible for an e-scooter to travel several blocks to riders.

“This could significantly improve unit economics, reducing carbon emissions and the operational work required to maintain and reposition fleets”

“There has been a lot of fanfare around the potential of remote-controlled e-scooters, but this partnership marks a turning point in tangible operational plans to bring them to city streets,” said Ben Bear, chief business officer, Spin. “In addition to providing reliability to consumers and more order to city streets, this could significantly improve unit economics, reducing carbon emissions and the operational work required to maintain and reposition fleets.”

 

After a ride is terminated by the individual riding the e-scooter, the remote operations team may reposition the scooter if the vehicle is blocking the sidewalk, crosswalk access, or a handicapped space. The same repositioning can take place if the vehicle is parked at a destination where it’s unlikely to get another trip.

 

Later this year, Spin will offer in-app scooter hailing that allows customers to request an e-scooter in advance or in real-time. Operations staff will remotely direct any S-200 to the desired location. Eventually, battery depleted scooters will also automatically go to the nearest Spin Hub for charging.

 

Over the next year, Spin will explore opportunities to bring S-200 to cities in North America and Europe that are interested in remote controlled operations and a more robust e-scooter model.

“We believe this is a significant development that marks the beginning of robotic technology that may unlock the full potential of micro-mobility”

“We are thrilled to see our software come to life with Spin,” said Dmitry Shevelenko, co-founder and president at Tortoise. “Spin has worked tirelessly to build trust with cities around the world, and our hope is that this technology only further improves and optimises the way cities and operators can provide transportation together.”

 

Co-developed by Spin and Segway-Ninebot, the S-200 is equipped with the latest computer vision, machine learning and robotics technologies, featuring an advanced visual navigation system that detects where and how shared scooters are being used in public spaces. The AI-enabled scooter will become more autonomous over time, which creates room for future innovation in scooter safety and convenience, as well as in improved operational efficiency.

 

“Although this is a small step for Segway’s robotic technology to power Spin’s new generation of shared scooters, the S-200 for the first time,” added Tony Ho, vice president of global business development, Segway. “We believe this is a significant development that marks the beginning of robotic technology that may unlock the full potential of micro-mobility, in practical and operational use. We look forward to seeing the real impact of the technology and this pilot program will bring.”

 

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