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E-bikes, Scooters From Ford's Micro-Mobility Unit Spin Will Now Be Shown in Google Maps

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【Summary】Locating an electric scooter or e-bike from Ford Motor Company's micro-mobility unit Spin has just became much easier, as the app-based platform will now include a global integration with Google Maps, the automaker announced on Monday. Customers using Google Maps for navigation will now see available Spin scooters and e-bikes along the route in real-time.

Eric Walz    Aug 16, 2021 12:45 PM PT
E-bikes, Scooters From Ford's Micro-Mobility Unit Spin Will Now Be Shown in Google Maps

Hopping on an electric scooter or e-bike from Ford Motor Co.'s micro-mobility unit Spin has just gotten much easier, as the app-based platform will now include a global integration with Google Maps, the automaker announced on Monday.

Customers using Google Maps for navigation will now see available Spin scooters and e-bikes along the route in real-time. Users will be able to locate Spin bikes and scooters in 84 towns, cities and campuses in the United States, Canada, Germany, and Spain,

In addition to locating nearest available Spin e-bikes or e-scooters directly from Google Maps, users can also see how long it will take to walk to a Spin vehicle from their current location, as well as view estimated battery range for Spin's e-bikes and scooters. From here, customers are directed to the Spin app to pay for the e-bike or scooter, unlock it and complete their journey.

This latest integration follows Spin's recent addition into a number of popular global and regional trip planning platforms such as CityMapper, Moovit and Transit.

As e-scooters and e-bikes are being increasingly built into navigation platforms like Google Maps, users are provided with new multimodal approaches for getting around in cities. The electric scooters and e-bikes provide cities with an attractive last-mile solution. The scooters and bikes can also help address parking limitations and pollution.

"With this integration, Spin is making it easier for millions of Google Maps users to easily incorporate shared bikes and scooters into their daily trips," commented Ben Bear, CEO of Spin. "Our goal is to make it as low friction as possible for consumers to plan multi-modal journeys. It needs to be just as easy, and even more convenient to get around with bikes, buses, trains and scooters as it is with a personal car. This collaboration with Google is our biggest platform integration yet with many more in the pipeline."

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Electric shared scooters are becoming a popular way to get around in big cities and college campuses.

Micro Mobility services like Spin became all the rage over the last few years with competing companies like Lime, Spin, Bird and others deploying dockless electric scooters and e-bikes by the hundreds in cities across the U.S. The battery-powered scooters can help reduce urban traffic and are a good option in cities for taking short trips of a couple of miles or less, weather permitting.

Research shows nearly half of all trips made in the U.S. are just three miles or less, according to "The Micro-Mobility Revolution," a 2018 report by Populus, a firm that offers digital solutions to city planners to help manage their streets and micro-mobility fleets of e-bikes and scooters. 

Ford acquired San Francisco-based Spin in Nov 2018 in a strategic move to expand into the growing micro-mobility space. At the time, Spin was operating in 13 cities and campuses across the U.S.

The popularity of shared electric scooters and e-bikes has also created unexpected competition for ride-hailing leader Uber, leading to its acquisition of Spin rival Jump in 2018 in order to keep more riders on its platform. A Jump-branded e-bike or scooter can be located directly in the Uber ride-hailing app and unlocked by scanning a QR code on the unit.

Spin launched the first-ever stationless bike share program in the U.S. and was instrumental in crafting the world's first mobility permitting system that's now used in cities around the world.

Spin operates in over 50 major cities in the U.S. including San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, as well as on 20 college campuses around the country. 

Spin does not launch its e-bikes and scooters without permission from city officials. The company also shares usage data with cities to provide them with better insights into how residents get around. Ford says that this approach aligns with its values and its aspiration to become the world's most trusted mobility provider. 

For added safety, the state of California limits the speeds of electric scooters to 12 mph.

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