In 2018, you probably have visited a big city overtaken by electric scooters. a bird. Gear. Skip. yarn. With just a few clicks on the app, these services allow anyone to jump on a controlled skateboard and slide down the streets.
Electric scooters have been developed as a wake-up solution to many urban transportation problems, such as traffic and pollution, and a few reliable ways to travel short distances – often referred to by civil planners as "the problem of the last mile". . The electric scooter takes less space on the street than the Toyota Corolla. It does not blow exhaust directly into the atmosphere. It's faster than walking on your own feet.
But scooters simply are not designed well enough to bring people around you safely, legally or environmentally. This includes industrial design, leading to the design of the largest experience of how motorcycles work in cities. Scooters are a brand new type of transportation that has fallen into the center of vibrant urban habitats, full of people, cars, trucks, bikes, and more. But they were not thinking about how they lived. In this sense, motorcycles represent a toxic mixture of Silicon Valley arrogance and severe disability, driven by the attempt to "disable", regardless of cost.
Let us begin with less inspiring industrial design. These things are essentially the same as the old razor that was sold to every 8 years for Christmas in 2001, fitted with batteries, an electric motor, and a cellular phone's courage to connect. Some have wider foot pads. Some are in red! All of them put your center of gravity strangely strange, almost impossible to turn into a tight shape, make you look like – I'm sorry but that's right – Mature man highlights L.O.L collection. Surprise! Dolls.
The 20-second motorbike ride in San Francisco's alley was startling, but I felt the frame dipped nervously at the slightest bump on the way. I knew the question was not, but when, the scooter would hit me on some jamming, or maybe better, The city itself will decide to attack the scooter like the West Goths.
This solid design can not handle the unfinished urban terrain you will find in almost every city. The consequences are clear: ER doctors around Los Angeles. Scottsdale, Arizona. Indianapolis. Austin cited the flow of scooter-related injuries such as concussion and road teeth. The Centers for Disease Control has just announced the first formal investigation into the issue.
Legally in most areas, you are supposed to wear a helmet to ride a motorcycle. You must. Of course the services tell you that. Of course, few people do. But let's not blame the victim here: the helmet will not add 20 inches of diameter to the tire, or allow you to balance anything other than your toes.
The environmental question
What lack of safety, and perhaps environmental friendliness? They are green compared to cars, right? In fact, the scooters in companies such as Bird will last for a maximum of two or three months, according to the information– It would be no surprise to anyone who encountered the body of a motorcycle torn in the street.
However, a life span of two to three months may be the best scenario. One analyst points out that many scooters may not actually recover their costs before they break – although motorcycles only need two to three weeks to recover. Which means that scooters may not last more than a few weeks. Difficult to know the exact environmental cost of this technology, but can not be good. Even smartphones, wreaking havoc in the environment, have a longer life.
Robbing the worst riding industry habits
Little thought went into designing how cities can be housed scooters already wrestling with different modes of transport. These things usually appear overnight and fall on the sidewalks, often without any question at all with city or community officials whether they are legal, practical or even required. This happened in more than 100 cities in the United States. Three scooter services hit San Francisco alone during the same week in March. As a result, scooters literally accumulated on the sidewalk.
It is a familiar strategy in the Silicon Valley. Companies such as Airbnb and Uber have built loyal followers of people who have enjoyed and used their services, and crap politics, to create a wave of public support. This (and some violent lawyers) helped turn these kidnappers into legitimate businesses.
Bikes borrow this digital model of turbulence, but add in a physical product. Instead of distributing the code, they are raining near removable, power-grabbing mobile phones everywhere. It is the development of the next level of technology companies that exceed their limits, the latest replication of what happens when RNA from the valley is connected with hundreds of millions in capital financing. They are massaging our material space. Our real world. Say what you will do on Facebook, but I have never found the "latest news".
See now, I do – type – get the gravity of the scooter. When I took the Santa Monica Corridor in the morning of November and the wind in my hair, I felt the immediate joy of having this comfortable car that I could drive and get rid of at any moment, making 15 minutes free on a short working day. But there is a gap between "riding as an entertaining tourist distraction" and "riding as a future for urban transport". How efficient is an electric scooter in the rain? The snow? For the elderly? To a sad bag who had stolen his phone and suddenly had no way to ride the house on a scooter sitting in front of him?
Electric scooters aim to build a user base and conquer markets just like Uber and Airbnb. But they do not solve urban transport problems, at least not with their current design. I am afraid that they have become everywhere, so quickly that they have already missed the opportunity we all deserve to get something better than a skateboard.