The Future of Micromobility - Swifty Scooters at Autonomy Paris 2019
The Swifty team crossed the channel to France for 2019’s Autonomy & The Urban Mobility Summit to showcase our range of scooters. It was our first time exhibiting at Autonomy and it gave us the opportunity to put our products wheel-to-wheel with key industry players.
Paris, similar to a lot of European capitals, is a city that has embraced shared E-scooters and bikes as a key form of transport so it’s no surprise that electric mobility options were the majority of this year’s show. Go electric or go home! Companies were out promoting the electrification of travel at every possible stage from walking to trucks and of course, there were plenty of scooters!
The Swifty team on our stand
Active vs Electric scooters, is there space for both?
With our range of human-powered SwiftyONEs, SwiftyZEROs and our Electric scooters in tow, Swifty stood out from the crowd and fitted into a niche of being able to accommodate for both active and electric users. Interestingly we were one of the few stalls promoting active mobility at the show.
Everyone talks of sustainability and being free of emissions but active travel is the most sustainable solution of any. There’s no need to use electricity to charge the scooters, no lithium batteries and less energy needed to manufacture all the component parts. Not to mention the health benefits active travel brings!
Despite the lack of representation, the idea of human-powered scooters still appealed to those we talked to when discussing how companies in the UK had been utilizing our active scooter fleets. For example, Greater Sport offer their employees 20p per mile to scoot to meetings, repurposing the idea of paying business mileage to instead encourage them to get active as part of their normal working day.
Greater Sports personalised Swifty Fleet. Find out more about Greater Sport and what they do on Episode #6 of The Swifty Podcast
The growing importance of connectivity
Nowadays where there’s technology there is inevitably a push for connectivity too, and this was a key theme of Autonomy 2019. IoT providers, in particular, were represented heavily. Getting your scooter or bike out and usable to the public is only half the battle. The data that’s collected through their use is just as important, if not a crucial part of the future of mobility.
Service providers as a whole constituted a significant section of the show, offering services from developing apps to mapping locations to analyzing data in order to help other businesses. With so many new faces cropping up it goes to show how much of an exciting space Micromobility is to be in, and how much potential there is for innovation within the sector.
Small wheel scooters remain a standard form factor, but for how long?
Scooting options were plentiful at the show but Swifty stood out as one of the few to utilize large pneumatic tyres and an altogether more considered geometry. The e-scooters used by sharing companies seemed to all use a standard small wheel format. The designs of the big e-scooter brands like Bird, Lime etc still seems to be considered a standard template among new developers. As a result, Swifty stood out as a more elegant product and caught the attention of a lot of people.
Over at the test track, the differences of big vs small wheel scooters were very clear when riders took them onto the cobbled area. Where other scooters where abrasive and jolting to ride on uneven ground Swifty's 16-inch pneumatic tyres were able to even out the bumps and resulted in a noticeably smoother journey.
Most people we talked to seemed to agree that big wheel scooters are the way the industry will, or should develop as it continues to grow because of the array of benefits it brings. Since Swifty has been representing this form factor for the past decade or so it’s good to see people understanding the positives.
Discover more about the Swifty design progress at Episode #11 of the Swifty Podcast
Dubbed ‘THE INTERNATIONAL EVENT FOR SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY SOLUTIONS’ Autonomy 2019 was an interesting representation of the current state of the micromobility industry and how things are moving on. It’s an exciting space to be a part of as a premium adult scooter brand, and there seems to be no shortage of ideas to be presented and developed.
Electric and connected travel seem to reign supreme, and we look forward to seeing how the industry has matured when we return to Paris in 2020!
Check out our video documenting the trip below!