While shared electric scooters have boomed over the last few years, there remain many concerns about their safety. Scooter-related injuries have become so common that some law firms offer legal action against scooter manufacturers on their websites. Some cities like Miami and New York have kicked certain companies out completely.
Despite the bad press, analysts expect the demand for shared electric scooters and the industry to grow. Now, the Boston brand Superpedestrian aims to meet the public’s safety concerns with their new scooter.
“The Volvo of scooters”
Superpedestrian recently raised $125 million to improve on its designs. It has been working on this current model for nine years and will soon debut thousands in US and European cities, including San Diego, Rome, and Madrid.
Thousands of Superpedestrian scooters will soon come equipped with a Pedestrian Defense AI system. This software will stop the scooter’s motor if the rider veers onto the road, starts slaloming, or travels against the flow of a street. The system will also notify Superpedestrian if the rider parks the scooter outside a designated area and will have over 140 self-check components. This will come in handy if, say, the battery starts overheating.
The new Superpedestrian scooters will be heavier than usual at 60 pounds. They are not designed to be light, though. They are designed for a smooth, safe ride with a lower center of gravity to avoid shaking at higher speeds. All components of the new Superpedestrian scooters are made in-house.
E-scootering for all
In the past, e-scooter users have been predominantly affluent and white, and Superpedestrian is looking to change that. It has enrolled 400 riders facing financial hardship into an equity program in Hartford, Connecticut giving them discounted rates.
With scooter use having risen during the Pandemic, availability for more people from diverse economic backgrounds could improve mobility and economic opportunity. First things first, though, shared scooters need to be safer.