Detroit is America's Mobility Innovation Hub: CorkTown must connect to Detroit in multiple ways to be a Smart City example.
Motown needs to show the way to Smart City travel and there is no one size fits all solution.
Detroit's OneMile USA in conjunction with Community Mobility Partners- Wayne State University (Engineering Dpt) and NextEnergy will bring to the emerging but isolated Corktown neighborhood a unique Micromoblity 2.0 device to conduct a pressing experiment empowering individual boomers and millennials to commute and dwell in CorkTown connecting to key Detroit neighborhoods.
Electric micromobility is new: today is 1.0 2.0 has now arrived
Initially we saw owned e-bikes and hoover boards on the street and now a torrent of rental bikes/some e-bikes and curb stand up scooters generating excitement. The 1.0 mentality to "just drop things on the ground" has also created many problems for communities and citizens. Lessons learned show limited safety, restricted age range and a "random/transient" mentality of renters (MoGo in Detroit is an exception) creating unintended negative impact on city infrastructure & community. Key problems include too many injuries and sustained financial losses by rental providers portending unsustainable business models that can see this city amenity vanish overnight. However, the "taste" for new individual micromobility has caught fire and as before, innovation will evolve the device and business models.
The first Gen 2 device- Halo City- is now available in USA (it is in Asia/Europe) presenting a unique opportunity for CorkTown's emerging Innovation Hub residents/workers to travel "The Smarter Last Mile" around Detroit on a personalized basis 24/7 based on a responsible lifestyle approach.
For example, the 50% decline in rental stand-up scooter use in San Diego from July to Oct 2019 illustrates an up and down path for the Gen 1 devices and business models perhaps incentivizing the ownership model for longer term dependable availability, (https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/transportation/story/2019-10-24/e-scooter-ridership-plummets-in-san-diego) driving the need for innovative design and new business models.
The Halo City represents a "a giant leap forward" recognized as the World's Best Designed Product '17- Red Dot Luminary (the Google Car won '16 and BMW I Future Interior was the runner up!) The multiple award winning Halo City foldable seated e-scooter uniquely solved for many the urban micromobility commute/dwell transport with a safer, economical, sophisticated 2-wheeled device that triumphed globally winning 7 international design awards. Ideal for Corktown's Gen X, Millennials and Boomers and even more valuable to those with lower income levels.
Since premiering Halo City at the NAIAS Detroit Auto Show last January, I have driven Halo City over 1,000 safe miles in Detroit personally validating its robust manufacture and enduring comfort for even older boomers. Halo City is extraordinarily stable, comfy, gorgeous and always at your side, never ditched on the street: it is the first Iconic 2 Wheeled Micromobility 2.0 Device. Halo City evens charges your cell phone.
For the Ford CorkTown Challenge.
To attract and keep diverse talent to Detroit's up and coming CorkTown Innovation District, Detroit needs to provide personalized transit independence with an economical fun/functional high style device-- thus allowing Corktown Millennials/Boomers to work/play/commute/shop/dwell in CorkTown and the surrounding dynamic neighborhoods e.g Riverfront, Midtown, Eastern Market, New Center, North End, Woodbridge, Foxtown and Greektown which will sport soon the just announced University of Michigan Innovation Center which is 2.5 miles from the TrainStation, or 15 minutes on Halo City or Uber without the $18-35 roundtrip Uber fees.
Working with our Community Mobility Partners- Wayne State University and NextEnergy, a controlled study for 50 selected users with 50 personalized Halo City seated/foldable e-scooters will measure how a new "responsible owned lifestyle model" with the unique Halo City enriches their CorkTown live/work experience in time, money and "ability to do more" in a fun/independent lifestyle (on most but the most in-climate days). This behavioral study will analyze heretofore unavailable data measuring impact on user with an "always with you" "owned" electric device and on community shops, infrastructure and workplaces. NextEnergy and WSU will help us determine criteria and metrics, reporting methodology and analysis.
Hearing the Halo City story, Forbes Magazine "got it" and published the attached article articulating our new value proposition: ownership benefits are enabled by the elegant compact Swiss Knife-life folding allowing Halo City to come inside with you. The easy fold, roll and stow function eliminates street scooter litter, vandalism and theft and increases safety as your helmet is attached to Halo City- just as bikers do. Part micromobility device, part art object makes svelte Halo City welcomed inside your apartment, office or shops as a sleek companion. Detroit knows fashion builds brands creating mobility affinity and value.
No other micromobility device offers an fully enhanced lifestyle -green- personal-affordable-stylish-safer-24/7/365. It adds up to true transit equity and a real wow for the users and the community. At all socioeconomic levels, especially the lower end, Halo City generates real money value. Through this Open Innovation Ford Challenge will can for the first time generate behavioral data on diverse city dwellers tailored to evaluate the "owned/always with you" lifestyle device. Honing such insights with our Community Mobility Partners- FSM, NextEnergy and WSU, this Smart City experiment can start immediately and scale in rapid cadence. Moreover, on day 1 of the Pilot, just as the Argo autonomous vehicles added a fresh buzz to CorkTown, this fleet of "The Ferrari of E-scooters" will make that cool neighborhood vibe real as the locals are the drivers.
Posted on www.onemileusa.com is the independent e-scooter video review from NYC based Escootnews.com: they rode Halo City around Detroit and then anointed it the "Ferrari of E-scooters". One ride makes you a believer. Forbes hails Halo City's ownership model benefits and on Instagram (@onemileusa) photos from the 100 riders attending the NAIAS Detroit Auto Show show smiles of the auto savvy. Anyone can try Halo City at our HQ in the Detroit incubator TechTown in New Center, near our partners NextEnergy and Wayne State University. To keep Halo's humming, we are partnered with the Downtown Detroit Bike Shop on Cass/Peterboro as our official maintenance shop, since this Spring.
Sponsor Advertising Potential- sustainability booster, neighborhood unifier
Unique by design, the Halo City large front pillar allows for a massive custom advertising label- 15 inches high and a wrap around on 3 sides with 12 inches at bottom and 9 inches at top, each side being 4 inches at bottom and 3 at top. As an example of it's marketing power, photos from this years Le Mans race team in France are attached. In these photos, one sees 8 Halo City e-scooters personalized for the pit crew sport a striking custom label matching the race car with the name of each crew member. Classy! This high end marketing offers local sponsors or employers community inclusion by underwriting part of the cost, effectively allowing future CorkTown/Detroit residents to "pay less" for the Halo City, lowering economic barriers with a faster pay back. Sustainability is built on 5 lifestyle pillars: value, style, comfort, inclusive community acceptance and enhanced safety.
Enhancing ownership economics for scale. We can start this Pilot Test with certainty and speed. The 50 Pilot Tester group will create a "swarm & hive" effect that might generate favorable publicity to Corktown & Detroit showing a new, cool "ownership lifestyle model" working for Millennials/Boomers as they transverse Detroit constantly. This would be a first in the USA. We think this helps the Innovation District attract out of state talent showing CorkTown is not isolated from the rest of Detroit. Scale is accelerated by front pillar advertising that pays dividends to local businesses as users have more ability to go out, enjoy and spend money with friends locally. When the weather is inhospitable, then users likely will revert to the other established methods; it is likely a 3 season solution in Detroit and 4 seasons elsewhere in the USA. While there is no silver bullet mobility solution, Halo City adds one compelling option.
Bottom Line Economic Example: Connecting Corktown to New Center/TechTown
One important Detroit commute which connects 2 revitalizing neighborhoods is the 4 miles between the Michigan Central Depot (Train Station) in Corktown to WSU's TechTown R&D Center (New Center) in which 1,000 new apartments are under construction. The current solution is Uber. As documented, the Uber time is 18 minutes and Halo is 21 minutes. Uber costs without surge $27.00 roundtrip (making Halo payback equal to about 60 roundtrips). Moreover, each roundtrip of 8 miles ALSO has a remaining battery charge of at least 8 miles letting the commuter do other things in city to live/work/play/shop too (16-20 miles per full charge). In the Pilot Study, we can also generate comparative data on other methods such as buses, stand up scooters and Qline/walking, MoGo E-bikes measuring time, cost, comfort, availability, preference and happiness.
We will measure behavior and economic changes of ownership to see how it drives value (savings in time/money) and impact, including spend in local community and overall rider happiness.
Affordable Green Transit Independence is critical for Talent to want to locate in CorkTown. The Halo City costs less in the USA than Europe at $1500. Our financing partner Klarna offers a legitimate zero interest payment plan of $125 a month for 12 months often creating positive cash flow in month one. As mentioned, front pillar advertising can lower the cost too. Able bodied 18 to 68 year olds go up to 20 miles on 3 cents electricity per charge and with a total device weight of only 34 pounds allowing this luxe scooter to transport 240 pounds of fully dressed and backpack wearing rider around town. Talk about green- its just 34 pounds of processed material, even less than most stand-up scooters which is why it swept the international design awards. No new infrastructure is required but use justifies more bikes lanes which helps everyone.
Corktown Program Particulars:
1. With community input, 50 individuals ("Pilot Testers) living/working in Corktown will receive a free Halo City e-scooters with helmets for this lifestyle experiment ("Pilot Testers"). Our Community Mobility Partners- Wayne State University & NextEnergy believe developing up to 4 inclusive diverse cohorts based on 1) age e.g. boomers & millennials 2) income e.g. lower service workers and higher office workers among those who either live, work or live & work in Corktown would demonstrate impact of this new model/device across the Detroit demographics. An ideal commute distance will be 5 miles and under allowing the remaining battery charge to provide an additional 8 miles to do errands and play in Detroit's neighborhoods enhancing Detroit's after hours pulse.
2. The Downtown Detroit Bike Shop on Cass/Peterboro will provide maintenance and wear/tear service curing the experiment keeping the Halo City e-scooters running well for the Pilot Testers and recording wear and tear damage. OneMile USA will provide training and a lighted helmet for the Pilot Testers. As a reward they will have an option at the end of the program to purchase the Halo City for a nominal fee in exchange for continuing reporting of experiences.
3. During the CorkTown Study, the Pilot Testers will keep a diary, use a tracking mapping app and report through email exchange their usage so that data can be collected and analyzed to tweak the program and gauge impact. Video testimonials from Pilot Testers and Community members will be recorded. Metrics will be established with FSM and our Community Mobility Partners- Wayne State University (Engineering Dpt) & NextEnergy to quantify time and money savings, additional activity in the community, quality of life impact and any behavior changes from ownership model including changes with other transportation methods and lessons learned. A case will be sought that this micromobility model has compelling value to one or more demographic groups as a Smart City device.
4. Advertisers will be sought as the Study is underway to fund placement of marquee Front Pillar Labels to promote the community and sponsor. Revenues received will be spent to enhance the CorkTown Study.
5. Based on Pilot Tester data, identified local businesses will be surveyed on Halo City impact in terms of 1) additional spend in community 2)practicality/safety with Halo City being brought inside and off the street 3) gauging impact on a cool community vibe 4) ideas for use/expansion