An electric scooter is a plug-in electric vehicle which has two or three wheels. It runs on the electricity stored on board in a rechargeable battery that usually drives one or more electric motors. Segway-Ninebot Group is a Beijing-based company that makes Electric Scooters and a few days back they revealed a scooter that can drive itself back to the charging station, even without a driver.
With the upgraded features, this new range of electric scooters could be a blessing for the burgeoning electric scooter-sharing industry. Ninebot has claimed that Uber and Lyft, the major ride-hailing titans, who are expanding into scooter-sharing would be among their first customers for this new semi-autonomous vehicle that is soon going to hit the road, probably in the following year.
The usage of artificial intelligence
Ninebot chairman, GaoLufeng, stated in an interview that these AI-driven scooters which are remotely controlled from the cloud can drastically improve the business of scooter-sharing. He also mentioned that the main problem that scooter operators face is maintaining their scooters while keeping the cost low at the same time. Currently, most operators of scooter sharing fleets need to collect their machines manually for re-charging them.
Since this company was formed by the combination of U.S. transportation pioneer Segway and China’s Ninebot, the company has gradually become the largest producer for scooter-sharing companies like Bird and Lime. Lufeng also believes that these scooters will soon replace cycles as the prime answer for micro-mobility as its basic human trait to save energy while they are commuting.
How did the trend start?
This scooter-sharing trend was triggered mainly two years ago when Bird was launched in California. Venture-capital investors have since then emptied millions of dollars into this sector, and a large number of electric-powered scooters have started operating in various cities across Europe and the U.S.
The Segway-Ninebot Group has also applied so that their shares can be listed on the new Nasdaq-style board started in China, for home-grown tech companies, the STAR Market. So far the company has sold 1.6 million scooters in the year 2018, according to their prospectus that was filed in April.
These new electric scooters will be priced close to 10,000 yuan ($1,420), which is comparatively expensive than the company’s traditional scooters, which is sold at $100-$300.This new range of self-recharging electric scooter will be out on the road next month for the road-testing and by the first half of 2020, they would be seen operating on the roads.
There’s more in store
The Segway-Ninebot Group has not stopped at self-recharging scooters. The company has also launched two automatic, self-driving delivery robots – one for delivering outside and the other for indoor services. A fun fact is that Ninebot has claimed that initially these unmanned self-driving robots will be used to serve the food delivery industry in China and so the company is already talking with food delivery operators.
These include MeituanDianping and Alibaba Group’s Ele.me. These will start operating from the first half of next year. But once these Ninebot scooters are out, they’ll prove to be a boon for the present society. No matter which one interests you, you can find it on Freemotion Shop!