Superpedestrian Improves Link E-Scooter But Existential Questions Remain.
“The technology is mightily impressive, but until these basic questions can be resolved, the future looks uncertain”
Electric scooters become more technically accomplished by the day but are still no closer to solving the problems that will make the difference between success or failure.
Superpedestrian said Friday that its LINK scooter now has faster geofencing response times, improved battery life and range, and Tesla-like over-the-air updates. Latest LINKs have an improved front suspension. R&D investment has reached $75 million.
But until politicians and the industry can solve the riddle of what electric scooters are actually for or where they should operate, the future looks cloudy.
Electric scooters are often a curse in European cities. Do they belong on sidewalks or roads? Or somewhere in between like cycle lanes. And what do people who’ve hired them do with the scooters when they reach their destinations? The answer is often just dump them on sidewalks for the rest of us to stumble over. Technology is likely to solve the problem of where they can operate, and geofencing would restrict scooters to strict designated cycle lanes. And the problem of dumping them could be handled by the likes of Ford Motor Co’s Spin, which has 3 wheels, can therefore stand upright, and modern technology can herd them up and return them to a local scooter station.
These are all problems across Europe, but Britain has added another one – a dithering government hasn’t even decided if they can be operated legally yet. Leasing is ok, but unfortunately no companies have been given permission yet, although there are trial operations across the country testing out the concept.
The technology is mightily impressive, but until these basic questions can be resolved, the future looks uncertain.