Kickscooter T60 Is A Semi-Autonomous Scooter That Can Go To Charging Stations By Itself

Ninebot President Wang Ye unveils semi-autonomous scooter KickScooter T60 that can return itself to charging stations without a driver, at a Segway-Ninebot product launch event in Beijing
Despite its ability to plot itself towards charging stations, it is still best to stay alert when driving a scooter. (Photo: REUTERS/Florence Lo)

Different companies are now starting to look for ways in an effort to get humans from point A to point B while helping decongest major cities. One industry that got a lot of attention these days is scooters. Several years ago, we saw manually powered scooters that could whack your ankles, but Ninebot has a more brilliant idea.

Ninebot is a China-based company that recently launched its latest smart scooter in Beijing. In the event dubbed as Innovation in AI-powered Mobility, the company launched the Kickscooter T60. This particular model is capable of driving itself to charging stations. Aside from this, the Kickscooter T60 has a cloud-based system that allows it to drive itself back to its user.

The Kickscooter T60 is a potential advantage for the growing scooter-sharing industry. Ninebot also mentioned that Lyft and Uber, some of the giants in the ride-hailing industry, are expanding their businesses and embracing scooter-sharing. It is expected that this new semi-autonomous vehicle will hit roads starting in 2020.

Chief Executive and Ninebot Chairman Gao Lufeng shared in an interview with Reuters that AI-driven scooters, remotely controlled from the cloud could improve the economics of the scooter-sharing industry. According to the executive, the main waterloo for scooter operators is on how to maintain the scooters at an affordable cost-efficiently. At present, operators of scooter sharing vehicles have to collect the rides for recharging manually.

The company was formed in 2015 and is consists of the US transpo pioneer Segway and China's Ninebot. So far, the company has become one of the largest suppliers of scooter-sharing companies like Lime and Bird. The executive shared that he believes that scooters will soon replace bicycles as the primary alternative for micro-mobility.

Bird triggered the trend of scooter-sharing when it first launches in California. Since then, investors have invested hundreds of millions into this sector that now operates across Europe and the US. The new Ninebot semi-autonomous scooters are retailed at around $1420 which costs more than the traditional scooters. Basic scooters are only priced between $100 and $300.

The Kickscooter T60 will begin road testing in September and will be commercially produced in the Q1 of 2020. The company also unveiled a couple of self-driving delivery robots one for indoor services and the other for outdoor deliveries. According to the company, unmanned delivery robots will temporarily serve the food delivery industry in China.

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