Taiwanese startup Gogoro has announced that it will start pilot testing its Smartscooter ahead of its launch this summer. The company, whose electric two-wheeler was unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), hopes to introduce these lithium-ion battery-powered scooters in urban centres to help reduce the environmental impact of transportation.
The smart vehicle contains around 30 different built-in sensors, including monitors to measure gravity, shock, and lighting, which feed data to an Android or iOS smartphone app, providing information such as maximum speed and range.
However, Gogoro has said that the scooter’s stand-out feature is the Gogoro Energy Network GoStation – battery exchange points across the city where the Smartscooters can be re-charged when they run out of power. Subscription-paying riders will be able to switch the flat batteries for fully-charged ones in just six seconds.
The company expect to face a number of challenges during the Smartscooter rollout – tackling complaints from local authorities and blocks to installing the infrastructure required by the commuting initiative.Gogoro, the brainchild of former HTC employees, will begin its pilot scheme in Taiwan’s Taipei City and New Taipei City, where there is a ratio of 1:1 scooters to people. Full details about additional locations and how the system will operate at scale are still under wraps.
“We wanted to launch the Gogoro pilot programme in a market that has a strong track record of embracing innovation while also having a high concentration of scooters. Greater Taipei is clearly the ideal market,” said Gogoro co-founder and CEO Horace Luke, previously chief innovation officer at HTC.
The beta testing will see 100 Smartscooter riders trial drive the urban vehicles around the city centre. An Experience Centre has also launched today to raise awareness for the scheme with locals able to drop by and learn about the technology and the company’s goals.