The Chinese provider Segway-Ninebot wants to make the rental of scooters more attractive with self-propelled e-scooters. As the News agency Reuters reports, the company presented on August 16 in Beijing the Kickscooter T60, which can drive independently to a charging station without a driver. The rental services Uber and Lyft were already among the first customers of the vehicles, which could come on the road early next year. A spokesman for Lyft, however, denied having ordered the autonomous scooters.
The maintenance and charging of e-scooters is complex for the operators. As a rule, employees of companies are on the road at night to collect the vehicles, to recharge them, to park them in more central locations and to maintain them as needed. For the activity there are meanwhile names like Juicer, Ranger, Hunter or Charger, According to environmental experts deteriorates by the rides of the service teams, the carbon footprint of scooters.
Scooters should be allowed to use bus lanes
Could the micro vehicles drive independently to collection points, this would reduce the cost of rental services. However, the devices are therefore more expensive. According to Reuters, the Ninebot scooter will cost the equivalent of $ 1,420, while the previous vehicles are priced between 100 and 300 US dollars. In addition, the devices not only have two, but three wheels. However, the company should not have shown a working prototype.
Whether self-propelled scooters would receive approval in Germany is unclear. At present, the Federal Ministry of Transport even considers the so-called small electric vehicles when needed to allow the use of bus lanes, However, self-propelled e-scooters could quickly become an obstacle to traffic or increase the risk of collisions on these lanes and cycle paths. Because it is unlikely that the devices will have a comparable sensor equipment as a self-driving car.
Delivery is delayed
Even with the approval of the "normal" e-scooter, there are currently problems. According to a report in the news magazine Der Spiegel Many of the models sold to private users do not yet have the required operating permit. In recent days, electronics stores like Media Markt and Saturn have sent emails to pre-orders, in which for individual models to delay "indefinitely" is pointed out.
So far, 13 models have already been approved for operation, according to the report. But another ten models are in the test procedure. According to the responsible Federal Motor Vehicle Office, the approval process takes about two weeks, the TÜV would need four weeks for the technical inspection of the vehicles.