Spin, Ford Motor Company’s micromobility unit, has partnered with software company Tortoise to develop a remotely operated three-wheeled scooter.
The partnership has created Spin Valet and will add the platform to new “robust, more stable” three-wheeled S-200 e-scooters.
The solution combines Tortoise’s software with the front and rear-facing built-in cameras on the S-200.
This enables the company to remotely operate the scooter and it can automatically re-park scooters safely reducing street clutter.
If a rider leaves the e-scooter blocking a pavement, on a crossing, or in a disabled parking space, the remote operations team can reposition the scooter at a low-speed of 3mph.
According to Spin, the technology can also be deployed to move a scooter parked in a destination where it is unlikely to get another trip.
It added that, later this year, the system will also make it possible for a rider to ‘hail’ an e-scooter to a desired pick-up location and enable battery-depleted scooters to automatically go to the nearest Spin Hub for charging.
Ben Bear, chief business officer at Spin, said: “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.
“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.”
According to Spin, the new S-200 e-scooter, co-developed with Segway-Ninebot, can better withstand different road conditions due to its enhanced suspension.
It will reportedly offer a safer ride with three independent braking systems including regenerative rear brake, front and rear drum brakes as well as turn signals on handlebars and near the rear wheel.
Over the next year, Spin said it will explore opportunities to bring the S-200 to North American and European cities that are interested in remote-controlled operations and a more robust e-scooter model.