Disruptive Transport Tech Topic of VERGE Conference
One thing the Internet and technology industry does is to disrupt existing industries, finding inefficient business models, replacing them with more efficient models. This week GreenBiz's VERGE conference came to San Francisco to focus on smart cities and smart transportation. Among the sessions was, yesterday, a conversation about disruptive transportation technologies between Danny Kim, CEO of Lit Motors, Michael Keating, CEO of Scoot Networks, and Nick Allen, CEO of Side.cr (pronounced Sidecar).
Lit Motors is designing an ingenious fully enclosed electric motorcycle that uses a pair of gyroscopes to maintain stability. It's due to go on sale in 2014 and have a 200 mile driving range and speeds up to 100 miles/hr. Scoot Networks is launching a service to share electric scooters, it is a very similar service to the Zipcar car-sharing service but is focusing specifically on electric scooters. Side.cr is a peer-peer ride sharing service allowing service members to arrange rides through a smart phone app.
How are these disruptive? The Lit Motors vehicle is as easy to drive as a car, consumes a lot less parking space, and challenges the assumptions we have about vehicle size and the necessity of owning a full size car just to get around town. Scoot Networks is offering a different model of vehicle sharing, access to mobility, and the necessity of using full size cars to get around town. Side.cr is threatening the traditional Taxi industry so much that the company, as well as three other similar companies, got cease-and-desist orders based on claims that the company is operating a taxi service without having a taxicab license.
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