Smart app features that enhance your electric scooter experience

Daniel Foley
Written By: Daniel Foley
Published on: 1/26/2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of urban transportation, electric scooters have emerged as a silent, eco-friendly revolution, capturing the imagination of commuters seeking efficient and sustainable alternatives. The rising popularity of electric scooters is a testament to the growing demand for innovative solutions that balance convenience, environmental consciousness, and technological advancement.

In this transformative journey, smart apps play an instrumental role in reshaping the way riders interact with their electric scooters. No longer confined to mere accessories, these electric scooter apps serve as intelligent companions, elevating the overall user experience to unprecedented levels. It is at this intersection of technological innovation and sustainable urban mobility that the smart features of these apps come to the forefront, forming a complex web of enhanced functionality and user engagement.

Join us as we explore the future of electric scooter journeys, guided by the intelligence and adaptability of smart apps, and discover how these technological companions are steering the course towards a smarter and more exhilarating way to navigate the urban landscape.

What is needed to run smart apps on your electric scooter?

Smart apps act as a bridge connecting riders to their scooters, providing an extensive array of functionalities beyond simple navigation. Yet, it's important to note that not all scooters are equipped for app connectivity. In the following, we will briefly examine the criteria that render scooters compatible with smart apps.

Connected scooter

Electric scooters need to be equipped with connectivity modules, such as Bluetooth or cellular technology, to communicate with the paired smart app. These connectivity modules allow the e-scooters to transmit data, receive updates, and enable features like remote locking and unlocking. Additionally, the scooter needs to have a compatible operating system that can support the smart app and its functionalities.

Integrated sensors

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Sensors like GPS, accelerometers, and gyroscopes are crucial for accurate performance tracking and safety features. These sensors enable real-time data collection and analysis, enhancing the overall functionality of the electric scooter app. Design elements like a scooter's rechargeable battery further ensure the continuous operation of the smart app and its connected features, while durable and weather-resistant materials that can withstand outdoor conditions help protect the integrated sensors from damage.

App compatibility

Riders need to download and install the compatible e-scooter app on their smartphones. These apps are usually available on major app stores and are designed to work seamlessly with specific scooter models. Most manufacturers will design an accompanying app for your scooter, like Apollo or Segway, while others may have partnerships with third-party app developers to provide a compatible app. Riders can also complement their smart apps with certified navigation apps for e-scooters as well as autonomous performance tracking apps to enhance their riding experience.

Firmware updates

Regular firmware updates are vital to ensure compatibility, security, and access to the latest features. These updates often address bugs, improve performance, and introduce new functionalities. It is recommended that users regularly check for firmware updates, sometimes sent via push notifications, for their scooter and the accompanying app to ensure optimal performance. These updates can be easily downloaded and installed through the app, ensuring a seamless user experience and enhanced security measures.

Elevating your electric scooter journey: Smart app features for an enhanced experience

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Smart apps on electric scooters enhance the rider's experience by seamlessly connecting with the scooter's systems, utilizing sensors, GPS, and connectivity for real-time information and control. Key features defining these apps include:

Navigation and route planning

Modern electric scooters redefine the way riders navigate urban landscapes, thanks to the seamless integration of GPS technology within smart apps. By incorporating precise GPS data, these electric scooter apps provide riders with turn-by-turn navigation, allowing for efficient and accurate routes. This integration ensures that users can confidently traverse city streets, making informed decisions at every turn to reach their destinations with optimal efficiency.

Beyond basic navigation, electric scooter apps empower riders with the ability to customize their routes based on personal preferences and the specific capabilities of their electric scooters. Users can input preferences such as avoiding busy streets, prioritizing scenic routes, or selecting the fastest path to suit their needs. Additionally, these apps take into consideration the unique capabilities of each scooter, optimizing routes to conserve battery life and maximize the overall travel distance.

Users can also discover nearby attractions, parks, and restaurants, enhancing the overall experience of their ride. Furthermore, to address one of the key concerns of electric scooter users—battery life—certain smart apps provide real-time alerts and information about nearby charging stations. This feature ensures riders can plan their routes effectively, eliminating range anxiety and promoting a seamless and worry-free travel experience. Not to mention, some apps also help you find suitable spots to park your scooter.

Performance-tracking apps

The integration of a speedometer and distance tracker within electric scooter apps transforms the rider's smartphone into a real-time dashboard. Riders can effortlessly monitor their current speed and the distance covered, enabling them to maintain a safe and controlled pace. This feature not only enhances the overall riding experience but also promotes responsible riding habits, ensuring riders stay within optimal speed limits. For dual-motor scooters like the Unagi Model One, you can even switch between riding in single-motor mode or dual-motor mode.

Even with that, one of the most critical concerns for electric scooter users is managing battery life during their journeys. Smart apps address this by providing real-time monitoring of the scooter's battery status. More than a simple battery indicator, a bunch of these apps offer predictive range estimation, with Unagi’s e-scooter app leading in that department, empowering riders with insights into how far they can travel on the remaining charge. This feature not only minimizes the risk of unexpected battery depletion but also allows users to plan their routes strategically, considering charging points when necessary.

Beyond real-time monitoring, smart apps accumulate and store historical data from each ride. Ride history data serves as a valuable resource for riders, providing insights into their riding patterns, average speeds, and energy consumption. Analyzing historical data can aid users in optimizing their riding behavior, promoting energy-efficient practices and extending the overall lifespan of the scooter. Moreover, this data can be leveraged for proactive maintenance scheduling, ensuring that the scooter remains in optimal condition and reducing the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns. For example, Okai Smart Services on the e-scooter app keeps a repair record of the Okai Panther, while also allowing real-time diagnostics to ensure that maintenance doesn’t slip through the cracks.

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Safety features

In unforeseen circumstances, swift assistance can make all the difference. Smart apps address this concern by seamlessly integrating an emergency contact system. Riders can pre-designate emergency contacts within the electric scooter app, allowing for rapid communication with chosen individuals in the event of an accident or emergency. This feature enhances the overall safety net, providing riders with a sense of security and reassurance during their journeys.

An innovative advancement in safety, fall detection technology embedded within smart apps acts as a virtual guardian for riders. The app utilizes sensors to detect sudden changes in acceleration or orientation, signaling a potential fall. In such instances, automatic alert systems are triggered, notifying emergency contacts or relevant authorities. This proactive approach ensures that help is summoned promptly, offering an additional layer of protection for riders, especially when navigating challenging terrain or facing unexpected obstacles.

Smart apps also enhance rider safety by providing real-time traffic and hazard alerts. By leveraging GPS data and community-sourced information, these apps notify riders of potential obstacles, road closures, or traffic congestion ahead. This dynamic feature enables users to make informed decisions on alternative routes, promoting safer navigation and minimizing the risk of accidents.

Finally, most scooter apps support anti-theft functions. The UNAGI scooter, for instance, features an easy-to-use lock and unlock toggle directly in their app, adding a convenient layer of protection.

Then We have a scooter like the Segway Ninebot Max G2 that's the first ever to integrate with Apple's 'Find My' ecosystem for remote tracking of the scooter. Apollo's new Apollo Pro incorporates cellular function via SIM card, which unlocks a world of possibilities with remote monitoring and tracking. We've also experienced sentinel mode on the Segway GT2 that locks up the scooter in theft cases. Not to mention the basic passcode and warning alarm that's almost standard with most basic scooters.

Customization options

Riders now can tailor their electric scooter's performance to match their individual preferences. Through smart apps like the UNAGI Smart Connect , users can fine-tune a range of settings, including speed limits, braking intensity, and acceleration profiles. This level of customization ensures that the scooter adapts to the rider's comfort and skill level, providing a personalized and controlled riding experience. A fine example of innovation in this sector is how the Segway GT2 provides optional traction control, allowing riders to maintain better stability and grip on different surfaces.

The integration of smart accessories amplifies the customization capabilities offered by these apps. Riders can seamlessly connect their electric scooters to smart lights, horns, and locks, enhancing both safety and convenience. For example, riders can set personalized light configurations for maximum visibility in low-light conditions, contributing to heightened nighttime safety, and even customize ambient lights. Additionally, scooters like the Apollo Pro 2023 allow users to customize the sound of the horn to their preferred alert sound.

Beyond basic settings, riders can fine-tune elements related to ride comfort and safety. For instance, the ability to adjust speed limits, braking intensity, and acceleration profiles contributes to a smoother and more comfortable ride. Users can also configure the scooter to operate in zero-start or kick-to-start modes, providing flexibility in how the scooter initiates movement. Moreover, the customization of cruise control functions allows riders to determine when the cruise function kicks in after maintaining a constant speed, adding another layer of personalization to the riding experience.

Social media integration

Smart apps serve as virtual meeting points for riders, offering group ride coordination and meet-up functionalities. These features allow riders to plan and organize group rides, synchronizing their journeys for a shared experience. Whether exploring city streets together or embarking on scenic routes, these in-app coordination tools transform electric scooters into social catalysts, connecting riders with a shared passion for sustainable and exhilarating transportation. The ‘Group rides with your friends’ option on the Minimotors Dualtron app for the Dualtron X Limited is a great example, as the scooter has enough power and range to make a whole day’s adventure.

Smart apps also create a digital community hub where riders can engage with one another. In-app community features facilitate the sharing of routes, experiences, and tips, creating a virtual space for riders to connect, inspire, and exchange insights. The Segway Community within their app stands out, boasting a lively network of individuals who consistently engage by exchanging their best scooter snapshots. So, whether discovering hidden gems along their routes or navigating the challenges of urban terrain, riders can contribute to a collective knowledge base that enriches the overall electric scooter experience.

To infuse an element of friendly competition and motivation, smart apps often incorporate leaderboards and achievement systems. Riders can track their performance metrics, compare achievements, and vie for top positions on leaderboards. This gamification not only adds an entertaining dimension to the electric scooter experience but also cultivates a sense of camaraderie among users. Achievements such as distance milestones or eco-friendly riding behaviors further incentivize users to push boundaries and contribute positively to the electric scooter community.

Sustainability integration

In an era where environmental sustainability is paramount, smart apps on electric scooters play a pivotal role in raising awareness and encouraging responsible choices. By offering carbon footprint tracking and offsetting options, these apps empower riders with knowledge of their environmental impact. Users can not only monitor their carbon footprint but also take proactive steps to offset it through various eco-friendly initiatives, creating a harmonious balance between personal mobility and environmental stewardship.

Smart apps go beyond mere navigation; they become guardians of the environment by providing eco-friendly route suggestions. Leveraging advanced algorithms, these apps analyze data to recommend routes that minimize environmental impact, such as opting for quieter streets with less traffic or suggesting paths with lower emission levels. This feature not only contributes to reducing individual carbon footprints but collectively fosters a sustainable urban transportation ecosystem.

To offer a comprehensive and sustainable mobility solution, smart apps seamlessly integrate with public transportation options. By providing information on nearby public transit routes, including buses and trains, some of these apps facilitate a seamless transition between electric scooters and other modes of public transportation. This integration promotes a holistic mobility experience, encouraging users to combine eco-friendly scooting with other sustainable transit options for a well-rounded and environmentally conscious journey.

Recognizing and rewarding eco-friendly riding behaviors is a cornerstone of sustainability integration within the mobile application. Users are incentivized to adopt environmentally conscious practices through reward systems and recognition for actions such as energy-efficient riding, choosing eco-friendly routes, and participating in carbon offset programs. For instance, in the U.S., subsidies for electric scooters often come as rebates or tax credits, with some states and cities, like California, having additional incentive programs, such as the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, offering rebates of up to $2,000 based on the scooter's battery capacity.

User feedback and improvement

To foster a collaborative relationship with users, smart apps incorporate in-app feedback mechanisms. These tools serve as direct channels for users to provide suggestions and report issues encountered during their electric scooter journeys. By actively seeking and collecting user feedback, the app developers gain valuable insights into user preferences and potential improvements, fostering a user-centric approach to app development.

Smart apps also demonstrate responsiveness to user input by implementing regular app updates. These updates are not only driven by user feedback but also by the integration of emerging technologies. By addressing reported bugs, introducing new features, and optimizing existing functionalities, app updates ensure that users enjoy an evolving, cutting-edge experience. This commitment to continuous improvement enhances performance, safety, and overall functionality, aligning the app with the latest industry standards and user expectations.

To further involve the user community in the development process, smart apps often provide dedicated community forums. These forums serve as virtual spaces where users can engage in discussions, share experiences, and contribute ideas for scooter app development. The collective wisdom of the community becomes a valuable resource for refining features, addressing concerns, and brainstorming innovative solutions. This collaborative approach not only strengthens the user-app relationship but also results in a more robust and user-friendly electric scooter ecosystem.

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E-scooter sharing app

Beyond owning your electric scooter, riders can also access shared riders provided by different companies like Bird, Lime, Spin, etc. The apps are very basic in function and quite similar across the board. These apps allow users to locate nearby scooters, unlock them using their smartphones, mostly via QR code scanning, and make in-app payments. Additionally, they often provide real-time information on battery levels and available charging stations, ensuring a seamless riding experience for users.

These innovative apps provide a seamless and eco-friendly solution for short-distance travel. Characterized by a user-friendly interface, real-time scooter location tracking, and easy payment options, these ride-sharing e-scooter apps are quickly gaining popularity due to their convenience. Through these apps, riders are also able to customize speed limits, plan their routes, as the majority have map integration and track performance. Furthermore, the user-friendly design and cost-effectiveness of the ride-share model make them a hassle-free option, especially in major cities that experience heavy traffic jams.

The Unagi rental service is a credible alternative to ride sharing, allowing users to own the scooter for the length of their subscription, and it comes with a more handy mobile application. The rental model is quite cost effective for as little as $39 per month for the Classic Model One and $69 per month for the Voyager. Plus, Unagi delivers the scooter to the user's location at no extra fee. And thanks to Unagi's smart technology, riders have access to a wide array of features via the app, including setting limits for speed and acceleration, smart locks, in-app chat with customer service, a remaining range calculator, and more.

Conclusion

Smart apps have become essential companions in the electric scooter journey, transforming how riders interact with their vehicles. No longer just accessories, these apps enhance the user experience, combining innovation and sustainable urban mobility.

From connectivity modules and sensors to app compatibility and regular updates, the seamless operation of smart apps relies on both hardware and software components to work together, bringing forth a network of smart features and elevating functionality and user engagement.

Smart apps have redefined urban exploration in the following ways: providing turn-by-turn guidance, customizable routes, and real-time alerts. Performance tracking, ensuring a safe ride, and offering insights into speed, distance, and battery life. Safety features, from emergency contacts to fall detection, act as virtual guardians.

At the same time, customization options empower riders to tailor their scooters, adjusting settings and integrating smart accessories. Social integration, on the other hand, transforms solo rides into communal experiences, while sustainability integration addresses environmental concerns. And finally, apps help gather user feedback to drive continuous improvement through regular app updates and community forums.

Smart apps have truly revolutionized the way we experience scooters, and we can't wait to see what capabilities manufacturers unlock next.


Daniel Foley
Daniel Foley

Daniel tests all the latest e-scooters and currently enjoys the Unagi Voyager as a daily driver for it's light weight, good range, and stylish look.

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