Spin Valet: Addressing Improper Parking and Improving Accessibility in Cities

A three-wheeled Spin scooter in front of a row of original two-wheeled Spin scooters.

As more and more people across the world discover the freedom and convenience of dockless mobility, accessibility on our sidewalks has never been more important. When an improperly parked Spin scooter is reported to us, our dedicated local operations team springs into action to reposition the scooter. To put this into context, take San Francisco, CA, for example. It’s home to one of our largest fleets in the United States. Like many cities, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) requires operators to respond to parking issues in under two hours and uniquely fines operators $100 for each incorrectly parked scooter. The City does this “in order to ensure that scooters are not cluttering the sidewalk and causing an impediment to older adults, people with disabilities and other pedestrians.” At Spin, we take this seriously. Our average response time over the past three months is 54 minutes — which is the fastest of any micromobility provider in the City. This similarly holds true when it comes to parking citations issued — Spin has had the least amount of citations since launching in San Francisco in October 2019.

Compliance may not be the most captivating topic, but it can make or break a community’s experience with micromobility. With that being said, we recognize there’s still more we can do.

So the question becomes, what if we could respond even faster? What if we didn’t have to send employees out to repark and reposition our vehicles?

Exclusive Alliance with Tortoise

Today, we’re taking a step toward this reality by announcing our exclusive alliance with Tortoise to offer Spin S-200 remotely-operated e-scooters to cities in North America and Europe in 2021.

Through new and innovative alliances, we’re bringing this vision of improving accessibility on our sidewalks through Spin Valet. The Spin Valet platform makes it possible to remotely operate Spin’s fleet and re-park scooters out of the pathway of pedestrians and other sidewalk or street traffic within seconds.

We are excited to offer this new three-wheeled e-scooter, co-developed with Segway-Ninebot, to our first pilot city, Boise, Idaho. Nationally recognized as an emerging tech hub and conveniently connected by a robust network of bike lanes, Boise is the perfect city partner for our S-200 pilot. Beginning this spring, we’re excited to provide up to 300 scooters for the program and use our learnings to inform future programs with city partners around the world.

Watch: Spin S-200

How Spin Valet Works

GPS technology in combination with Spin S-200’s front and rear cameras allow us to precisely locate each scooter. If needed, Tortoise’s team of remote operators can safely relocate the vehicle at a slow rate of speed (2–3 mph). This technology allows us to keep sidewalks orderly in several key ways:

Repositioning improperly parked scooters: Spin Valet remote operations allows us to reposition incorrectly parked scooters in a matter of seconds. This includes scooters blocking sidewalks and pedestrian walkways, ADA accessways, residential or business entrances, or public transportation stops.

Repositioning nearby scooters: In busy urban areas, riders often finish their rides within 1–2 blocks from each other. Spin Valet allows us to quickly reposition scooters parked throughout a block into an orderly row — keeping our deployments neat and orderly.

Example of repositioning scooters within a block.

Moving scooters from low demand to high demand areas: If a scooter is parked at a destination where it’s unlikely to get another trip, it could be repositioned to a location where there’s more demand. In a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), researchers evaluating “self-repositioning scooters” used data from dockless bikeshare systems to model the potential impact self-repositioning or remote-like capabilities could have on increasing utilization. They found that “the availability of self-repositioning capabilities can help achieve up to 10 times higher utilization of vehicles than possible in the current bike-share system.”

Increasing reliability with scooter hailing: One of the biggest pain points for our riders is not having a scooter conveniently located nearby. Spin Valet will eventually allow a rider to “hail” an e-scooter several blocks to a desired pick up location.

Charging battery-depleted scooters: Since last year we began deploying e-scooters with swappable batteries. This helps reduces our carbon footprint and increases our workforce efficiency, but it still requires us to send our local team out on vehicles to swap out and collect batteries. Spin Valet will eventually allow us to reposition scooters to a Spin Hub charging station automatically to recharge, all done remotely.

More About the Spin S-200

Spin S-200, co-developed with Segway-Ninebot, represents the future of dockless mobility. A stable, 3-wheel design makes this scooter safer and more stable for riders less comfortable on a traditional 2-wheeled scooter. Spin S-200 is also packed with new safety features, such as a robust suspension system, regenerative rear braking, front and rear drum brakes, and turn signals.

Partner With Spin.

Spin is transforming cities and communities by offering accessible, affordable and sustainable forms of personal mobility.

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