Car Industry

Ninebot scooters can pilot themselves to charging stations

It's probably best to still keep alert when piloting a scooter, though.

Ninebot KickScooter T60

This scooter will drive itself. It's weird.

Ninebot

Companies have started to look past automobiles in an effort to decongest major cities and look for new ways to get humans from point A to point B in a more efficient fashion. One industry that's received quite a bit of attention is scooters. While it's easy to recall days of manually powered scooters that may or may not have whacked the back of your ankle, Ninebot has a different idea.

China-based Ninebot revealed its latest smart scooter at Innovation in AI-powered Mobility in Beijing this past Friday called the KickScooter T60 and it will actually drive itself to charging station. See? No more whacked ankles. Not only can the scooter pilot itself back to a charging station when it's time to rejuice, but its cloud-based mechanics can drive it to a user on its own.

For example, say a large social event just let out. The company can look at this data and dispatch a flock of KickScooter T60s to the area for people to jump on and ride off. I'm not sure I want to see what a group of these zipping around without a driver looks like, though. The idea is pretty unnerving. 

Ninebot didn't explicitly say what kind of technology unlocks the autonomous abilities but it said the scooter uses "vision-based navigation technology." Obviously, something needs to award the machine the ability to "see" the world around it, whether that's lidar, radar or something else.

Ninebot also took the wraps off two new delivery robots. DeliveryBot S2 is an upgraded version of the S1 that can see the world better via its lidar and also go up and down elevators without help. Meanwhile, DeliveryBot X1 can tackle city infrastructure and even recognize traffic lights and withstand rain.

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