As we return back to our lives outside quarantine, there are more vehicles on the road than before as people are scared to take the risk of using public transport again. Safety must always come first, but while we adjust to the new normal we must find sustainable alternatives for short distance commutes – at least in already crowded cities – that don’t make the air quality worse when we are battling a disease that hinders our breathing. For someone who would just take a subway for two stops to run an errand we need another solution than risky public transport or expensive electric cars. That’s where ridesharing with e-scooters comes in, a concept crafted for that ‘last mile’ commute when it is too far to walk but too short to take your car out for.
While this isnt a new thing in the world of Bird and Lime, Glide’s design has one key feature that puts it above its competitors – it is foldable! Why is this so important? You must have seen the rideshare scooters strewn all over the sidewalk causing clutter but with Glide, you have to dock it when its folded so it keeps the surrounding clean and hazard-free (I have tripped over three myself!). The design concept is focused on making the experience better for users and also for non-users – it relieves the contractors of having to collect scooters strewn all across the city to charge and put back, its modified design lets you dock your phone to navigate so you never have to use one hand to steer again, and adds details that makes it possible to easily carry your bags. Along with the body, the handlebars also fold down making it one compact, lightweight, sleek tube. The deck where you stand has been extended in Glide scooters to make space for your bag and secure it with a retractable strap. It also has a a shoulder strap which makes it portable unlike other risharing e-scooters.
Another detail that makes Glide a better choice is how it is docked when not in use. The e-scooter folds up into a cylinder and clasps around the rack which locks it in place as well as charges it. To unlock the e-scooter, the user simply has to tap their card or phone on the electronic ring. Glide comes with a fully integrated smart app that also lets you see where you can pick your e-scooter from in augmented reality. The design is also looking to seamlessly blend using these scooters in combination with public transport when it is safe again, so you can use your train or bus pass to also use your scooters – this system can reduce overall costs as well as encourage more people to choose an emission-free commute. Integration of Glide with a city’s public transport system will also transform the product from a ‘last mile’ solution to a more distance-friendly option. I think my favorite part is still the clutter-free sidewalks that I wont trip on!
Designer: Ruairi Phelan