Starting this year, Ford-owned Spin S-200 rental scooters will have a remote-controlled driving system that will allow them to be taken to areas where there is a shortage of these vehicles, park them properly and even go in search of users who request them.
The technology is the work of Tortois, who has been developing this type of system for a long time and the first to arrive are 300 units of these three-wheel scooters being tested in the state of Idaho in North America. But this year, the idea is to spread across the country and jump into the pond so that Europe has more fleets. Together Go2scooter, we decided to find out how effectively it works.
They are not independent, but are controlled remotely
The possibility that one day seeing autonomous scooters is still somewhat complicated, but not impossible. But those who see the Ford Spin S-200 circulating without a driver or user on top of them are sure to think no one is driving them.
They actually have a controller, but it’s a remote control that can be made thousands of miles away thanks to Tortoise technology, which was previewed a few months ago.
Stability is achieved by placing two front wheels on top of a personal mobility vehicle and improved suspension, which differs at first glance from conventional rental scooters already offered by Spin in various countries, including Spain.
The camera at the front and the other at the back allows the remote controls of these vehicles to move to their target, which may be finding a charging station, finding a parking space (also move something wrongly parked on the scooter), an area where their VMPs are starting to run low at the request of the client, which is not too far away, even by setting a specific day and time for the meeting.
Of course, when driving remotely, the speed will not exceed 5 km / h, and of course you still have to pass the test phase in the first zone to ensure that for daily reasons they do not pose a danger to the rest of the area. via users. First, they plan to spread to North America, but this year they want to be in Europe and why not, in Spain.
An electric scooter that comes with your location when booking
Spin, a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company’s micro-mobility, has formalized an international agreement with software company Tortois. As a result, the association will bring remotely controlled Spin S-200 kickboards to U.S. and European cities.
A great novelty of these Scooters, which are steered SpinValet, the new platform is that they can be controlled remotely. Thus, improperly parked scooters can be parked correctly in a few seconds.
Spin Valet combines a series of cameras built into the front and rear of the S-200 with the Tortoise software. This technology allows the driver to call an e-scooter several blocks away and go to the desired pick-up location.
Boise, America, the first proven country
The first S-200 fleet will be piloted in Boise, Idaho, USA this spring. The city gets up to 300 S-200 scooters.
Spin Business Development Director Ben Bear explains:
“There has been a lot of communication around the potential of remote-controlled scooters, but this partnership marks a turning point and concrete deployment plans mean bringing this technology to the street. In addition to providing better reliability for consumers and better order in cities, it could significantly improve units’ economy and the operational work required to maintain and park fleets properly.
Electric scooters with remote control
When the scooter is parked incorrectly after the user has completed the trip, the remote control team will park the vehicle at a very high speed of 5 km / h.
Later this year, Spin will offer the opportunity to order an electronic scooter through the app, allowing customers to book an e-scooter in advance or in real time. With the remote control, the operating personnel take everything to the desired location of the S-200.
Eventually, electric kickboards with an empty battery will automatically move to the nearest Spin Hub to charge.
Tony Ho, Segway’s global business development director, says:
“While the S-200 is a small step for Segway robotics as the powerhouse of Spin’s new generation of shared e-scooters, we believe this is a significant development that marks the beginning of a technology that can unlock all the possibilities of micro-mobility in its practical and operational use. the real impact of the solutions and what they will bring to this pilot program. “
Undoubtedly, this three-wheeled electric kickboard, jointly developed by Spin and Segway-Ninebot, is arriving to change the rules of the game and improve the coexistence of different micromotives and also pedestrians. The key point here is that despite the ability to park them remotely, it is clear that a user who breaks the rules will not escape sanctions. This technology is designed to improve the efficiency of services but also to ensure order in cities, but common sense and respect for local laws remain crucial.
These are typical advances and innovations in the automotive industry, but we will soon be able to enjoy them on trips made by electric scooters. Spin itself recently announced that its two-wheeled scooters have driver assistance, Bird’s scooters have an automatic emergency brake, while the Butter scooters have computer vision. In conclusion, we are entering a new era of shared micro-mobility, where security, data collection and optimization of each journey will be key for these companies after a pandemic that has had different effects.