In October 2016, NextEnergy launched NextRide, a demonstration program with Mahindra GenZe (an Ann Arbor-based electric-scooter manufacturer) that integrated four connected, electric scooters into NextEnergy’s infrastructure for shared use by staff members for travels within the city of Detroit. NextEnergy worked with partners to identify objectives, then collected, prepared, and analyzed user experiences and vehicle data to help inform businesses, anchor institutions, and communities on urban-use cases for a fleet of electric scooters. A final report was written and delivered in April 2017 to the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board.
The Work We Did
- Developed a cost-per-mile calculation to compare electric scooters to traditional modes of transportation based on parking, fuel, congestion mitigation, and shared use
- Established a quick, simple, and cost-effective reservation software platform for users to determine vehicle availability, reserve a vehicle, and perform pretrip route planning while enabling fleet operators to measure vehicle usage
- Integrated scooters into the information and communication technology built environment and utilized Internet of Things energy monitoring devices to collect charging data that was then cleaned, prepared, and analyzed
- Created user feedback surveys to gather additional information including user comfort, ease of use, and reasons for choosing alternate modes of transportation over using a scooter
NextEnergy was able to provide our partners with timely recommendations for app/software development and shared-use design considerations. Additionally, several regional businesses and anchor institutions, as well as local community groups, were consulted with information and learnings from this demonstration to help educate and inform them of key considerations that may affect their decision to leverage electric scooters for their urban transportation needs.
Using the methods and tools developed for this program, NextEnergy will continue to promote and evaluate the fleet of scooters as one of many transportation options available to our staff, including the newly-launched QLine street cars and MoGo bike share. Future steps may include further automation of hardware and software controls as well as coordination with city planners and policy agencies to integrate scooters into a multimodal transportation system as a viable option for public use.
To learn more about NextRide, view the full report, or to find out how NextEnergy can customize a program for your organization, contact Wayne Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-833-0100 ext. 103.