The first remote-controlled scooters have finally arrived in Atlanta, Georgia – and these are nothing like your average scooters.
Technically, these aren’t two-wheelers as they have an added set of training wheels attached to its main deck, and are much bulkier than your average two-wheelers, but this doesn’t make them any less appealing.
Vehicles to be remote-controlled by people 1,700 miles away
An interesting fact about these electric remote-controlled scooters, as the name suggests, is that these aren’t self-driving scooters and instead, will move autonomously – sort of.
A team of remote employees based in Mexico City (approximately 1700 miles away) will control these vehicles by watching a live feed from the scooter’s cameras and monitoring other sensor data.
Even though this concept might seem far-fetched and radical, technology and a trio of companies have made it possible.
These advanced vehicles aren’t any less safe too!
Not only do they have the additional training wheels to maintain balance, but there’s also a team of Go X operators on standby to help you in case your scooter gets knocked over, loses power, or ends up with any problem.
Hundreds of teleoperated scooters are available for rent
Currently, these electric scooters have been kept in an office park in Atlanta. If you want to rent the scooters, you’ll have to request one using the Go X app. Within minutes, a remote control scooter will arrive at your pickup spot.
Dimitry Shevelenko, the CEO of Tortoise, is very excited about this venture and considers this the future of shared micro-mobility. The obvious advantages being convenience, reduced dockless shared mobility costs, and clearer sidewalks.
He told The Verge, “You don’t have to just be lucky that there will be a scooter that’s within walking distance of your house in the morning. You can actually request it to come to you and wait at home till it does.”
Tortoise has big plans for the future
Tortoise has plans to announce additional deployments of its autonomous technology later this year. While the startup won’t be deploying any more retrofitted scooters, it does plan on launching three-wheeled scooters that are efficient and effective.
This is certainly quite an ambitious project as shared scooter services haven’t seen much commercial success in the past.
Shevelenko remains hopeful though. His optimism is also because of an MIT research that highlighted how scooter operators can get 10 times more utilization out of every vehicle by rebalancing the scooters throughout the course of the day instead of doing it once every morning.
There’s no denying that the future certainly looks exciting!