Automobility LA - S10

a scooter

next-generation of shared mobility aims
to get two-wheel transit back on course
Tarani Duncan calls it Scooters 2.0


Most important, Duncan says, consumer interest is growing. People took
ozens of companies have jumped into "micromobility," hoping to meet
84 million trips using shared micromobility vehicles in 2018, according to the
the needs of people in search of a first- or last-mile transportation soluNational Association of City Transportation Officials. That's more than double
tion, especially in urban areas.
the number of trips taken in 2017.
But in the original surge of shared scooter and bicycling systems, a variLast year was a tipping-point year for e-scooters, which largely have reety of problems stymied growth: vehicle design, battery life, vandalism and
placed bicycles in micromobility systems around the
theft, and the challenge of making sure a vehicle can be found in a convecountry.
nient location for the next user.
One of the many companies piloting
Duncan, a micromobility consultant and veteran of several mobility
a solution for the new wave of shared
companies including Uber's Jump and Lyft's Motivate, hopes a new
mobility is Tortoise, which calls itself
wave of shared-scooter startups will "solve for everything that was
an automated vehicle repositioning
wacky about 1.0."
service for micromobility operators.
The continued interest of tech and mobility companies is fu"We live in an ownership society,
eled by statistics: A recent study by the traffic analytics company
but true freedom is not ownership
Inrix found that 48% of car trips in the country's most congestbut access," Shevelenko says. "Can
ed cities are less than three miles long. As Dmitry Shevelenko,
you always access transportation
co-founder of the shared-mobility software company Tortoise,
when you want it?"
says: "Why are we using a 2-ton vehicle to go two miles?"
Shevelenko thinks that some city
Globally, trips of five miles or less account for about 60% of
dwellers have been slow to jump
total car trips in China, the European Union, and the U.S., accordonto the shared-scooter trend being to the McKinsey Center for
cause of logistics problems. "A key reaFuture Mobility. The consultanTortoise makes scooter software.
son people don't use this form of transcy has pegged the potential of
portation is because they can't plan around
the U.S. micromobility market
it," he says. "There's no predictability of supply."
at $200 billion to $300 billion
Another veteran of Uber, Shevelenko says it
by 2030.
dawned on him that mobility companies were
Numbers like that inspire
spending at least $10 each night to move a
scooter or bike to the "right" location for the
"Cities are well-prepared for
next morning's commuters-and undoing
us," she says. "The population
some of the e-scooter's environmental appeal
density is there. More and more
by using trucks and vans for that repositioning.
cities have bike lanes, so drivers
Tortoise found that with less than $100 in
know how to share the road.
hardware-including two phone cameras and
And there are plenty of advocaa GPS system-a light electric vehicle like a
cy groups supporting a sharedscooter could support low-speed automated
mobility infrastructure."



Automobility LA

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automobility LA

Automobility LA - Intro
Automobility LA - S1
Automobility LA - S2
Automobility LA - S3
Automobility LA - S4
Automobility LA - S5
Automobility LA - S6
Automobility LA - S7
Automobility LA - S8
Automobility LA - S9
Automobility LA - S10
Automobility LA - S11
Automobility LA - S12
Automobility LA - S13
Automobility LA - S14
Automobility LA - S15
Automobility LA - S16