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Tag Archives: micromobility

The Scoot Moped — an electric moped born out of Bird’s acquisition of Scoot — will launch in Austin five months after unveiling the shared micromobility vehicle.

The new moped is the latest effort by Bird to diversify its product offerings to capture more customers. The Scoot Mopeds, which are now available on the Bird app, feature large-volume tires, hydraulic disc brakes, two side mirrors, an LCD display for vehicle speed information, as well as two sizes of helmets, which are stored in a box on the vehicle. Users of the Scoot Moped must be 18 years or older and have a valid driver’s license. 

Bird first unveiled the Scoot Moped in October following its acquisition of Scoot. Initially the mopeds were piloted in Los Angeles, according to Bird. The Austin launch, which kicks off the week before the city’s SXSW music, tech, film and comedy festival begins, marks the official rollout of the Scoot Mopeds. The SXSW festival has not been cancelled yet, although numerous companies are pulling out over concerns of the coronavirus. SXSW organizers said March 2 that the “2020 event is proceeding with safety as a top priority.”

The Scoot Mopeds will join a bevy of shared mobility vehicles that are already on Austin’s city streets. The Austin City Council approved in February 2018 the creation of a “dockless” bike-share pilot program. Some companies were already operating these services; this action created a regulatory framework. But then scooters came en masse.

The scooters upended bike share, and prompted companies to take some of their bikes off the streets due to lack of demand, according to several city officials who spoke to TechCrunch during SXSW 2019.

Bird is “working closely with the city to help achieve the goal of 50-50 mode shift by 2039 and looks forward to collaborating on more solutions in support of the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan,” Blanca Laborde, a government partnerships team member for Bird, said in a statement. “We think Austinites are going to love this new way to get around.”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/05/bird-launches-scoot-mopeds-in-austin-ahead-of-sxsw/

Launching and operating shared bikes and scooters has lost its novelty. Worldwide, numerous companies are operating shared micromobility services — so many that the industry is well into a consolidation phase.

In Latin America, Grow Mobility formed as part of a merger between micromobility providers Grin and Yellow. In the U.S., Bird acquired Scoot. And, while not a traditional consolidation, Lime and Uber have partnered to include Lime’s scooters within the Uber app.

Meanwhile, we now have a handful of players operating in the direct-to-consumer model; Unagi, Boosted and even Bird has started selling direct to consumers.

Despite the over-saturation of the market, there are still opportunities for new players. Currently, there are two key areas that have yet to see a lot of action and are therefore ripe for disruption.

Those opportunities include creating a software ecosystem on top of bikes and scooters and improving unit economics by focusing on batteries.

As you may remember, business and mobility analyst Horace Dediu recently told me these micromobility vehicles have an opportunity to also be software hubs. In fact, he said it’s where he expects bigger players like Google and Apple to enter the space.

Already, at least one startup is taking steps to become the operating system for micromobility vehicles. Tortoise, a startup founded by former Uber executive Dmitry Shevelenko, is pursuing autonomous repositioning of scooters.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/13/micromobilitys-next-big-opportunities/