City First to Launch Self-Driving E-Scooters
In keeping with its long history of developing cutting-edge technologies, the city of Peachtree Corners announced the launch of a fleet of the world’s first tele-operated e-scooter to operate on public streets The e-scooters made their debut on Wednesday, May 20.
The city welcomed the opportunity to work with Tortoise and Go X, which combined forces to offer an e-scooter that has the ability, through the use of remote tele-operators, to reposition itself back to a safe parking spot – or to respond to a call (using the company’s app) for an e-scooter to be delivered right to a customer’s door. The e-scooters are re-positioned by Tortoise’s remote tele-operators.
Peachtree Corners has been working with the two visionary companies to revolutionize e-scooter mobility for use in its city. The new technology solves two issues that have plagued the industry: 1) Finding a scooter – and 2) Returning scooters to a home base for safe parking, charging and cleaning.
The e-scooters will operate in the city’s Technology Park Atlanta, a 500-acre existing technology park that is home to over 7,000 employees. The teleoperated e-scooters will be available for use by the general public and will operate on the city’s new 1.5-mile autonomous vehicle test track that runs alongside lanes used by the motoring public as well as other streets in Tech Park.
“We are excited to showcase this innovative technology,” said Mayor Mike Mason. “It’s another opportunity for the city to look beyond traditional transportation and seek innovative ways to improve mobility. We invite our citizens and the business community to see and experience this new technology.”
The initial pilot will run for six months and marks the first time ever that teleoperated e-scooters are deployed on public streets.
This is not the first time that the city has been the site of innovative transportation technologies. Last fall, Olli, the self-driving shuttle designed and built by Local Motors, began operating along the city’s 1.5-mile autonomous vehicle track. The test track is part of Curiosity Lab, the city’s living lab, which offers companies a facility to test emerging technologies in a real-world environment.
This latest venture into teleoperated e-scooters is part of the city’s drive to further expand its “smart city” technologies.
“An important goal for us was to ensure that residents can enjoy the convenience of using e-scooters, right here in Peachtree Corners,” said City Manager Brian Johnson. “As a reflection of our commitment to making cities smarter, we didn’t hesitate to partner with Tortoise to launch the first-ever fleet of self-driving e-scooters for public use. We are extremely pleased to be a partner in this innovative and world-changing technology.”
Click here for details on how you can ride the new teleoperated e-scooters.
Curiosity Lab is a 5G enabled autonomous vehicle and smart city living laboratory located in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta and the first true smart city ecosystem in the United States. The centerpiece of the lab is a 1.5-mile test and demo track which provides a real-world environment to explore emerging technologies. Additional infrastructure includes a network operations center, smart poles, DSRC units, dedicated fiber and a 25,000 square-foot tech incubator.
Tortoise is on a mission to make shared micro-mobility a sustainable, safe form of transportation for communities everywhere. Tortoise has developed an easy, cost-efficient way to reposition small vehicles – start with electric scooters – to the places where they’re need in real time. Tortoise technology can connect with any light electric vehicle and safely have a remote tele-operator drive the unit from a location where it may be underutilized or obstructing the road, to a city-approved parking spot, a public transit hub, or even to your front doorstep.