Two companies, Tortoise and Go X, have announced a pilot program that will see electric scooters with autonomous functionalities take to the streets of Peachtree Corners in Georgia.
The companies’ say that as states across the United States start to re-open, consumers are demanding alternative forms of mobility to the likes of ride-hailing services. This is where these e-scooters are said to come in.
The pilot programme will work through a ‘Hail my Scooter’ smartphone application that will allow users to summon an electric scooter to their location. After a rider has completed their trip, the scooter will drive itself back to a safe parking spot. However, the scooters aren’t really driving themselves and are instead being piloted by remote teleoperators.
Peachtree Corners has passed an ordinance mandating that all shared micromobility devices deployed are capable of automated repositioning to increase the accessibility of such scooters while also avoiding sidewalk clutter challenges. Each scooter is thoroughly disinfected after being repositioned to a home base and every Go X Apollo employee is required to pass a daily Covid-19 health check.
“An important goal for us was to ensure that residents can enjoy the convenience of using e-scooters, while creating a world first in efficient, organized and advanced micromobility – right here in Peachtree Corners,” city manager of Peachtree Corners, Brian Johnson said. “As a reflection of our commitment to making cities smarter, we didn’t hesitate to partner with Tortoise to launch the first-ever fleet of self-driving e-scooters to be available for public use. Curiosity Lab empowers innovators like Tortoise and Go X to collaborate and discover other partners to test, prove and deploy novel technologies in a real-world environment.”