The unique origins and capabilities of Superpedestrian’s LINK Scooter

By Paul Steely White

Figure 1. Superpedestrian tackles the whole iceberg by designing and engineering the entire vehicle from the wheels-up, including the powertrain and embedded systems.

Learning from the missteps of others

The first generation of shared e-scooters were rebranded consumer products not designed to withstand the demands of shared use. In addition to myriad safety concerns, this off-the-shelf approach often meant that some shared e-scooters only provided about a month of rides before being sent to the scrap yard.

Engineering for 2,500+ rides

We took data from our vehicle tests and determined the exact engineering specifications required to achieve 2,500 rides in a vehicle’s lifetime — up to 5x as many rides as the industry average. Next, we built, tested, and iterated, using our proprietary Vehicle Intelligence System (VIS — described in more detail below) to measure performance. Each iteration went through 67 different tests, including riding over cobblestones and up and down hills, submerging vehicles in water, and stressing the battery and brakes.

Designing for rider safety

LINK scooters look different for a reason. Compared to other scooters (Figure 2), they have beefier handlebars, thicker necks, and no-slip foot decks that are wider and longer than those of the average scooter.

Figure 2. The LINK scooter (far left) has many physical features that set it apart from other shared e-scooters, including a thicker stem, dual handlebar brakes, and a wider deck.

The Vehicle Intelligence System (VIS) LINK’s safety advantage

While LINK scooters feature major physical differences, the most important distinction between LINK and other models is invisible to the naked eye. At the heart of Superpedestrian’s LINK scooter is the patented Vehicle Intelligence System (VIS). VIS is a collection of sensors, firmware, and onboard diagnostic technology that monitors the mechanical and electrical status of the entire vehicle in real-time, and autonomously resolves a majority of potential issues (Figure 3).

Figure 3. The Vehicle Intelligence System (VIS) enables unprecedented component monitoring and autonomous self-correction to improve safety, as well as service ticketing to streamline operations.

Self-protection and self-diagnosis

If a LINK scooter cannot autonomously protect itself from an issue, the vehicle will self-diagnose the problem, automatically make itself unavailable for rental, and auto-generate a repair ticket. This repair ticket will be sent to the smartphone of one of our field crewmembers, and will include the scooter’s self-diagnosis as well as detailed instructions for how to quickly fix the issue. Some issues that can arise with shared scooters in particular are shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. A few common issues that can arise in share scooters. LINK’s VIS detects and corrects many of these problems autonomously.

Prioritizing a safe ride for our customers, every time

VIS allows us to implement autonomous safety checks before each ride to ensure that our scooters are safe for every customer (Figure 5). The pre-ride check can detect any potential failures in the brakes, lights, motor, battery, and electronics components onboard the vehicle.

Figure 5. The LINK Mobile App confirms vehicle health before every ride (left). LINK Operations Managers have detailed logs of vehicle health checks (right).

Superpedestrian is doing micromobility differently

Over the past 7.5 years, Superpedestrian solved tough technological problems to enable our LINK scooters to do what others cannot: take care of themselves on the road by self-detecting, protecting, and reporting. These VIS innovations are made possible by the automated control technologies which we engineer entirely in-house. We take this thoughtful approach in everything we do and we are confident that riders and cities will notice the LINK difference.

Built better for cities. Operating in 50 cities and 7 countries.