26
Sep
scoots with docks2

Have you ever rented a car to get around a city you're visiting, or borrows a friend's, only to find that you've paid a bunch of money for the convenience of travelling four or five miles back and forth a couple times? Even Zipcar can feel a little wasteful at times, especially if you're the only one it's carrying.

The video shows and only discusses the iPhone mount, but Android mounts are available, too.

Well, Scoot Scooters wants to make electric scooter rentals a thing, and they're doing it in a way that can only be described as pretty effing awesome. Here's how it works.

Scoot Scooters are located throughout a city (right now, only San Francisco), sort of like Zipcars. You show up at a Scoot lot, and again like Zipcar, you can use an app on your phone to reserve a ride. But the similarities end there.

Scoots are fitted with a round docking plate for Android and iOS devices that place your phone into. When your phone recognizes it's connected to the scooter, the Scoot app pops up and starts feeding you telemetry from the scooter. You can see the battery charge remaining, speed, your location on a map, and the time length you've rented the scooter (hourly rentals are one option, so this is useful). Once you're done, you can just tap "end ride" when you've returned the scooter to its lot, and you're rental is terminated.

And in California, you can legally rent a low displacement, low-speed scooter for up to 48 hours continuously without needing an M1 or M2 2-wheeled certification on your driver's license. Which makes sense, obviously. "You've never ridden a motorcycle before? Oh, you're going to use it for less than 48 hours. That's OK. Go ahead."

scoots with docks2

The scooters max out around 25-30MPH, depending on how much you weigh, and are good for a solid 25 miles of city scooting.

Right now, the service, as I said, is limited to San Francisco. You also have to be a monthly member of Scoot - there are no one-time rentals available. This is mostly because Scoot wants SF residents only as customers right now, and is putting a priority on getting local businesses on board with the service before they make a wider launch. Monthly members get included liability insurance, promises that the scooters will be maintained, and they'll even teach you how to ride a scooter if you never have before.

The Android app itself doesn't appear to be available yet, but it's likely on the way - Scoot only launched recently.

Gigaom, Scoot Networks

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Rob

    And yet I love how most of the video images feature that iDevice we all loathe. :(

    #first

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I don't loathe it, I just choose not to use it. Without Apple and iOS, Android wouldn't be anywhere where it is today, not even close. Competition is key and great for everyone.

  • Erik Cho

    Well, we all know one thing is for sure, iPhone 5 will have a helluva time fitting into that thing. Now for us Android users, this could be a doozy if it takes off. I wouldn't mind being able to rent a scooter, it's definitely a step up from the Rent-A-Bike concept. Though it wouldn't be too viable here in Los Angeles as they would all just end up going missing in a matter of days.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      They wouldn't be viable in LA because 25 miles would only get you one way. Sprawl for the lose.

      • Erik Cho

        I go around town taking photos every so often on foot mainly, but this could be a neat little touristy thing to get you around to a few of the major transit hubs. Or if you were to do something like self guided tours that would take you around through the different districts, 25 miles is not that bad.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          Tours of LA city? "And here we have skid row. But look at the lovely buildings." Sorry, I'm a recent migrant (moved here 2 years ago), I'm still pretty jaded about Los Angeles, haha.

          • Erik Cho

            "And now just put your foot on the accelerator as you speed past the angry man waving a knife on the right..." Haha.

            I grew up here, so downtown LA is my old stomping ground. There's a lot places to discover and something like a scooter would definitely make things a bit easier. Parking the thing on the other hand is a different story, unless they make plenty of designated parking zones for these, but some how I doubt that.

  • mike smith

    This article is supposed to be about using your Android to rent a scooter, but at the end it says that the Android app doesn't appear to be available yet. So why does the article tittle indicate it is about using your Android to rent a Scoot, but then ends by saying that the Android app doesn't appear to be available?

    I was a regular user of Scoot with my android well over a year ago. I stopped when I moved out of San Francisco. I am going there for a visit and I am looking for the app for my Android when I found this article.

    The correct information is: there is no app on Google Play Store - you have to find it on the internet. Scoot is still working on setting it up with Google Play.

    I am not really that clever when it comes to tech stuff; I am usually a follower, and not a leader when it comes to technology. So why do I know this and the writer doesn't?