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Urban transport experts launch shared micro-mobility division

Mobility engineering and technology company, Superpedestrian, wants to work closely with cities to encourage safe-riding and protect shared public spaces.

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The Link e-scooters feature built-in vehicle intelligence systems
The Link e-scooters feature built-in vehicle intelligence systems

Superpedestrian, a mobility engineering and technology company founded by urban transport experts from MIT, is launching a shared micro-mobility division that allows riders to rent its e-scooters using a smartphone.

 

The move follows Superpedestrian’s acquisition of Zagster’s micro-mobility fleet operations business and an investment of $15m.

 

Collaborating with cities

 

The division, called Link, wants to work with cities to implement advanced solutions to encourage safe riding and protect shared public spaces. For example, Superpedestrian claims Link scooters can enforce geofences in less than a second, thanks to onboard map storage which enables the vehicle to bypass the vehicle-to-cloud lag and autonomously enforce a geofence. This also allows vehicles to safely slow to a stop before entering no-ride zones.

 

Emily Warren, Superpedestrian advisor and former Lyft and Lime policy executive, said that over the past three years, dozens of scooter operators have used cities as test labs “and that, unfortunately, many of them have failed that test.”

 

She continued: “Equipment failures posed safety risks to riders and other road users, and both vehicles and businesses saw unnaturally short life spans, often leaving cities in the lurch. Meanwhile, Superpedestrian invested several years in designing and testing an e-scooter platform that could stand up to sustained shared use.

 

“Micro-mobility is a critical tool for the future of sustainable cities, so I’m glad to see Link combine proven vehicle technology and fleet management with a deep respect for city government.”

 

Superpedestrian was founded in 2012 by CEO Assaf Biderman and the team’s credentials include designing the world-renowned Copenhagen Wheel, a project conceived and developed by the MIT’s Senseable City Lab for the City of Copenhagen. The wheel turns an ordinary bike into a hybrid e-bike.

“Equipment failures posed safety risks to riders and other road users, and both vehicles and businesses saw unnaturally short life spans, often leaving cities in the lurch”

Its acquisition of Zagster’s micro-mobility fleet operations and business enables it to tap into operational experience gained from a decade of managing bike and scooter share systems.

 

Link’s other custom technology includes its proprietary Vehicle Intelligence System (VIS) that monitors the entire vehicle in real-time – including a self-diagnostic check before each ride – and proactively averting issues that could pose a safety risk down the line.

The e-scooters enforce geofences in less than second courtesy of onboard map storage
The e-scooters enforce geofences in less than second courtesy of onboard map storage

The VIS continually monitors more than 140 indicators of vehicle performance per second, helping to address minor issues, including braking force, battery, and thermal events, before they become major problems.

 

Superpedestrian’s e-scooters also claim to last more than 2,500 rides and can travel up to 55 miles on a single charge. It also claims resilient vehicles keep per-ride operating costs around 50 per cent lower than other operators.

 

“By combining industry-leading operations with Superpedestrian’s intelligent e-scooters, Link is ushering in a new chapter for micro-mobility,” added Biderman.

 

“Zagster developed the software and systems to support efficient day-to-day operations long before the Silicon Valley-funded micro-mobility boom. That’s why we tapped [its] expertise when it came time to launch this new platform. We’re excited to bring smart e-scooters to riders in the United States, Europe, and around the world.”

 

Superpedestrian’s recent investment was led by growth equity investor Edison Partners, with additional funds from existing investors Spark Capital and General Catalyst.

 

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