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Ready to take a Spin around the block?

Ford-owned company has scooters that arrive when you’re ready to ride

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We’ve been hearing about the self-driving cars that are coming and how robotic devices will be delivering stuff to our doorsteps. Now Spin, “the micromobility subsidiary of Ford Motor Company,” has done a deal with software producer Tortoise to provide electric-powered scooters on an on-demand basis to selected cities in North America and Europe in 2021.

The first fleet of Spin S-200 scooters, as many as 300 of the devices, will launch this spring in Boise, Idaho, according to the announcement.  

Also being introduced in the spring will be a more stable 3-wheeled scooter. The news release notes that the 3-wheel version will be safer for riders and will have enhanced suspensions to deal with various road conditions. 

“The company’s new Spin Valet platform makes it possible to remotely operate Spin’s fleet and automatically re-park scooters out of the pathway of pedestrians and other sidewalk or street traffic within seconds,” according to the announcement.

“After a ride is terminated by the individual riding the e-scooter, the remote operations team may reposition the scooter (at a low-speed – max 3 mph) if the vehicle is blocking the sidewalk, crosswalk or a handicapped space. The same repositioning can take place if the vehicle is parked at a destination where it’s unlikely to get another trip. 

“Later this year, Spin will offer in-app ‘scooter hailing’ that allows customers to request an e-scooter in advance or in real-time. Operations staff will remotely direct any S-200 to the desired location. Eventually, battery-depleted scooters will also automatically go to the nearest Spin Hub for charging.”

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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