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Robotics will save the micro‑mobility industry

Haya Verwoord Douidri, Vice President (Global Markets and Strategy) at Superpedestrian, explains why the current micro-mobility model is unsustainable, and presents Superpedestrian’s alternative.

Micro-mobility

Credit: Superpedestrian

There’s no doubt that micro-mobility and its increasing adoption will play a significant role in decarbonising transportation across the world. Unless micro-engineering vehicles are engineered for safety, profitability and accessibility, however, micro-mobility’s growth will be limited. Now is the time to invest significant resources into vehicle engineering and testing, and autonomous safety and maintenance technologies. Micro-mobility providers who fail to do this vital work will be out of the running by 2030. 

Unless micro-engineering vehicles are engineered for safety, profitability and accessibility, however, micro-mobility’s growth will be limited”

The impact of micro-mobility to date is evidenced by the remarkable growth of shared e-scooter operators. Estimated to be worth $40 billion in 2020, some forecasts are predicting the global micro-mobility market to grow to as much as $200 billion by 2030. The fastest-growing segment of the shared sector is shared e-scooters, which emerged only four years ago, with Bird and Lime launching in the U.S. in 2017. Within a year, Bird had reached a $1 billion valuation. Both companies were valued at over $2 billion by 2020. 

The allure of e-scooters to consumers is most recently illustrated in the UK. Although the vehicles remain illegal to ride on public roads, a small number of trial zones were created in England in the second half of 2020 by the Department for Transport (DfT) to begin gathering data to inform future legislation. By summer 2021, the country’s shared e-scooter fleets were supporting more than one million journeys every month.

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