Skip to main content

You could soon see electric scooters driving themselves to charging stations

Segway KickScooter T60

If you see an electric scooter tootling along the street by itself in the not-too-distant future, do not be alarmed. It’s probably on its way to a charging station.

Segway-Ninebot, currently the largest scooter supplier for smartphone-based services such as Bird and Lime, has unveiled a semi-autonomous scooter that can make its way to a charging station when its battery runs low.

Related Videos

The KickScooter T60 will begin road testing in September 2019, and is slated to become available to scootersharing services in the first quarter of 2020.

Scootersharing companies currently pay teams of people to gather up the scooters for recharging at the end of each day. While not exactly good news for those collectors who rather like the idea of holding onto their job, a scooter that can pretty much make its own way to a charging station will certainly be of interest to scootersharing companies as they look to streamline their operations.

The KickScooter T60 could also help restore order to particular streets where scooters are commonly left at the end of rides, as the vehicle could take itself to a proper parking spot for the next rider instead of blocking the sidewalk. Even better, the T60 also raises the prospect of a service where you wouldn’t even have to locate a scooter, as it could come straight to you via a few taps on your smartphone.

According to a video (above) showing the scooter in action, Segway-Ninebot’s new three-wheeler includes obstacle-avoidance sensors, but a person still needs to remotely guide the vehicle to the charging station. In other words, human operatives would still be needed, though possibly fewer than required for the current collection process.


The new KickScooter T60 will be priced at about 10,000 Chinese yuan (about $1,420), making it considerably more expensive than its other scooters, which it sells to scootersharing companies for between $100 and $300 per vehicle. For general retail, its less-advanced KickScooters currently cost between $549 and $769.

Segway-Ninebot told Reuters that Uber and Lyft would be the first customers for the new scooter, though a Lyft spokesperson said that while it was interested to see the technology, it hadn’t yet made a decision on whether to commit to the product. Uber declined to comment.

Even if a scootersharing company wants to incorporate the vehicle into its fleet, they’ll first have to convince city regulators that remote operation of the vehicle poses no threat to street safety.

We’ve reached out to Segway-Ninebot for more information on the T60, as well as asked if any scootersharing operators have inked a deal, and will update this piece when we hear back.

Editors' Recommendations

This next-gen moon buggy could soon be rolling over the lunar surface
Northrop Grumman's proposed moon buggy design.

NASA is aiming to send the first woman and first person of color to the lunar surface in just a few years' time. And like the Apollo astronauts of 50 years ago, they’ll be using a moon buggy to make their way across the rocky surface.

Aerospace and defense technology company Northrop Grumman is designing a so-called “Lunar Terrain Vehicle” (LTV) that it wants NASA to use for the approaching Artemis lunar landings.

Read more
Everything you need to know about the Rivian R1T
Rivian R1T on a beach

Rivian has joined the list of carmakers old and new who want to end Ford's 39-year reign over America's sales chart. While it's not a household name, at least not yet, it became the first company to release a mass-produced electric pickup in the United States. Sure, there have been others: Ford built an electric Ranger in the 1990s as a bit of an experiment. This is different: Rivian is aiming for volume.

The R1T is a four-door, five-seater model developed with adventurers and nature lovers in mind. It's closer in spirit to a Jeep Gladiator that you might see on a trail in Moab than to a Ford F-350 your utility company might use. It's new from the ground up, and it looks like one of the most attractive entries into this burgeoning segment -- Digital Trends put it through its paces on and off the pavement and walked away seriously impressed. Production has finally started so we're taking a look at what it is, what it does, how much it costs, and what's next.
What is it?

Read more
2022 Rivian R1T first drive review: The first EV pickup sets a high bar
2022 rivian r1t review front three quarter view

Many startup automakers have tried to repeat the success of Tesla, but the 2022 Rivian R1T is something different. This burly pickup truck aims to take EVs into the wilderness.

When it unveiled the R1T at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, Rivian made some bold claims, boasting of Jeep-like off-road capability, sports car-like acceleration, and enough range to get you to the trail and back.

Read more