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Award Winning Halo City Presents New Proposition for E-Scooters: Seated, Foldable- and Ownable. Connects CorkTown to Detroit Neighborhoods

Bring to CorkTown the World's Best Designed Product '17 Halo City foldable seated e-scooter connecting Detroit & enhancing talent attraction

Photo of Jayson Pankin
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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, ( 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 is the independent e-scooter video review from NYC based 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

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

Halo City's will impact residents, workers, local businesses in CorkTown and the surrounding neighborhoods now independently connected to CorkTown. Pilot Testers lifestyle may change by using for the first time an "always with you/owned" luxury device that yields gains in economics, safety, comfort, style, socializing and community acceptance. Employers may see on weather permitting days happier workers enjoying an easier independent commute that creates free time and generates disposable income to spend in local businesses making local businesses more viable. Taking Halo City inside means ZERO street scooter litter, no vandalism/theft and opens up building entrances for pedestrians, the handicapped and strollers. High use of bike lanes is compatible with bikes justifying more safer bike lanes. Seated means fewer ambulance calls and hospital ER visits too. The Halo City "Smarter Last Mile" shown in the attached videos in Beijing, Greece, Paris and Bali works in Corktown too.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Fully Scaled - you have already scaled your solution and are exploring new use cases

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Hard Example: Attached photos show Uber vs Halo for TechTown to Corktown TrainStation Commute: Uber saves 3 minutes (18 vs 21) and costs $27 a roundtrip. Halo has 8+ miles of juice more to play/shop each day for FREE after short payback to own freeing up $27 after tax everyday to spend having fun boosting local businesses. Halo City is in 22 countries, used by Gen X, Millenials and Boomers (think seat), unisex. My 1000+ miles in all conditions on Detroit streets validated my claims as a boomer

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

With our Community Mobility Partners- Wayne State U and Next Energy we are deep in mobility analytics & run lean as change agents having succeeded in earning accolades from Forbes Magazine & Escootnews to encourage urbanites to test, discover and laud our new micromobility proposition- seated/folded & owned. The China "A" team visioned, designed, engineered, manufactured and delivers worldwide the first Gen 2 micromobility device which swept the international design awards as Red Dot Luminary

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

$105,000 one year budget by items noted below. $100k from Ford and X$ from advertisers 50 Halo City Scooters Delivered with Helmets $85,000 Set up, Training, Free Repairs, Maintenance $7500 Contact with Pilot Testers, Analytics, Testimonials, Reporting, Administration $13,000 Above totals $105,000. Not included: video documentary

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

Work with our Community Mobility Partners- FSM, WSU & NextEnergy, we will place the scooters with diverse users in several cohorts who keep and report a journal of experiences to allow analytics to be calculated to show benefits in quality of time, safety and cash expenditures. We will train Pilot Testers in CorkTown or at TechTown how to safely operate, store, charge and use the Halo City foldable seated e-scooter. The Detroit DownTown Bike Shop to provide and record routine maintenance e.g. air pressure, inspection, brake tightening or provide minor repairs. We will reach out for an advertising partner to brand and monetize the dramatic Front Pillar to foster community inclusion. As a unique group, the Pilot Testers will be encouraged to talk to each other and share lessons learned. We will engage local businesses and mobility focused groups for feedback, ideas, and learn how to scale.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Working with FSM and our Community Mobility Partners-Wayne State University & NextEnergy, we will develop a realistic set of criteria to create several cohorts of users and record relevant data to show behavior change and impact on the user, community and workplace. We believe that as change agents, success will be proven with a range of testimonials from each cohort e.g. boomers, millennials, low/high income users, residents, commuters and local businesses. Safety, economics, comfort and happiness matter highly. If the Pilot Testers continue using the Halo City e-scooters, recommend Halo City, nearby observers buy the Halo City e-scooters, advertisers grow and the media reports favorably, those would be strong measure of success. In CorkTown Program Particulars we describe the value and reliance on gathering unique metrics and testimonial data. Each city and perhaps neighborhood is different, making data a key driver for sustainable scaling.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

High quality manufacture and direct delivery is reliable from China and future "Made in Detroit" is possible with scale. Offering the 50 Pilot Testers a nominal buyout after successfully the test period keeps the initial fleet humming. Leveraging testimonials and media attention drives buyers around the USA to our website. Advertising sponsors can lower purchase price and accelerate deployments especially for employees or events. Activating Detroit's Smart City example to market to other cities.

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Attachments (4)

Wayne State University Engineering Dpt Letter to OneMile USA Ford Challenge Support and Participation.pdf

Wayne State University Dpt of Engineering letter of participation as Community Mobility Partner in Pilot Test of Halo City E-scooters in Corktown. Providing initial general advising on Pilot 1)social and economic equity criteria 2)study and evaluation design 3)Detroit local strategies for ownership to impact behavior positively. Enlargement of engagement offered dependent on additional resources for in depth student/faculty led monitoring and evaluation of study group in educational setting

NextEnergy Community Mobility Partner Letter to OneMile USA.pdf

NextEnergy letter of participation as Community Mobility Partner in Pilot Test of Halo City Escooters in CorkTown Project. Providing support for 1) developing metrics for the Pilot 2) developing criteria for selecting users and 3) advising on data collection tools and strategies.

Red Dot Luminary Page from Concept Yearbook 2017 2 pages bigger print.pdf

The Red Dot Design award the equivalent of the Olympics for manufactures- over 5,000 products are vetted- in different categories- from mobility to sport to medical- the Luminary is the like a "Platinum Olympic Medal" given to only 1. Halo City won in 2017, '16 was the Google Car! BMW was runner up. Halo City won because it is the equivalent of the IPOD for exploding a category with design elegance enabling brilliant functionality like a Swiss Knife. It is labeled the Ferrari of Escooter

Forbes Halo City Dale Buss June 30, 2019.pdf

Forbes Magazine Article on award winning Halo City E-Scooter in Detroit offering a new value proposition for micromobility: Seated, Folding and Ownership. Safer, economical, comfort personalized green device for city dwelling, short commutes, life on board boats, RV's and local travel in suburbs.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Mackenzie Fankell

Hello Jayson Pankin ! Thank you for posting! I am a Michigan Central Station Challenge facilitator. This is a very impressive idea and it is easy to see how it might improve mobility in Corktown! I'm curious, what mobility needs do you think that this product would best address in our impact area around Corktown? Do you anticipate any unique challenges/hurdles in this area? I look forward to hearing more!

Photo of Jayson Pankin

Hi Mackenzie! Thanks to you and Team Ford for all of this out-of-the-box Open Innovation Challenge. I worked with Ford over many years at AutoHarvest Foundation to help Ford lead the automotive industry to embrace Open Innovation (2010-present). It's all there on that website and I am so happy so much has evolved with Corktown becoming the "innovation magnet" and hopefully a "millennial haven" in the USA.

Halo City is my night job since I found Halo City while invited to give a keynote speech in China last year on Intellectual Property and Open Innovation. It is stunning, that is why I picked up this project. I have logged over 1500 miles in Detroit since the auto show, so I know it is built robustly. In 2014, Ford showed me the patents and prototypes of Ford folding bicycles etc so I was primed to spot this diamond not so rough!.

OK, now your great questions. I need access to your data to refine anecdotes and local testimonials and direct experiences to key in the target markets and use cases. We have started this work but this project would solidify the knowledge. This spring, the College For Creative Studies did a course study for a team on Halo City and I have in my office in TechTown the "work product" showing keen alignment with Millennial. Moreover, i have learned that it is also older boomers like are a big part of the market- who want: 1) seated comfort 2) safer lifestyle w/helmet 3) economics 4)transit independence not random and 5) FUN!! With our Klarna based financing option, a legitimate "free interest" for a year program, a Millennial can OWN Halo City for $125 a month and likely cash flow positive as he/she reduces uber etc costs in month one. So I have taken upfront money out as a barrier. The overall economic instantly work, so that is not a longer term barrier. The addressable age exceeds stand ups greatly: 16-68 years. So that is not a barrier. It's unisex, so that is not a barrier. It can be personalized with the Front Pillar Label for style or used to drive a reduced purchase price by letting sponsors have that advertising space. This can make it neighborhood inclusive too. Less money on Uber more to spend in restaurants and shops! Very local. So it is not a cookie cutter product either- it won an award every car maker strives for, the Red Dot Luminary.

I think it helps almost everyone who works and lives in Corktown: from the lowest paid facilities/service/underserved folk to the Ford and soon supplier employees who either live or work in the area. I love that it helps the lowest paid get off the bus or save draining Uber money spent to get to work- more folks do this in Detroit than you realize. The Elton Park apartments is a great example of helping new employees go that distance to work elegantly "on their own" without breaking a sweat, "no ride home anxiety" and being able to then go downtown or to the riverfront and enjoy the city and not feel isolated. Today I road from the Train Station to Elton Park- a distance of .75 miles taking 5 minutes door to door and I have been taking lately the 4 Mile ride from TechTown down Cass to Michigan Avenue to Train Station, about 22 minutes. Easy to do round-trip and use of about half of battery. 5 Mile each way commutes work well.

The community benefit of it's Swiss Knife like design brilliance, and it is brilliant when you realize it only weights 34 pounds and takes 240 pounds up to 20 miles on 3 cents of electricity, is that it eliminates: scooter litter totally and reduces crime by eliminating a target of theft and vandalism as it comes inside with you. That is a big deal. 5 years ago as Corktown started to open up, car vandalism and theft surged! We don't need e-bikes left outside stolen or handicapped and elderly navigating scooter litter. And here is a BIG THING: The cobblestones, or bricks of Corktown. It is a very comfortable ride over the bumps with in my hands no instability. Seated with air filled tires and a shock absorber under the seat, smooths out much of the bumps. That is what I have been testing this week. The biggest challenge for all micromobilty devices, including Halo City in Detroit is that it's less than a 12 month season of use when raining hard, snowing or very cold. I think for many residents they will be able to reliably get to work, play and afterwards while on a safer ride saving money for many months. Under the Challenge, we will learn more use experiences by varied demographics and demonstrate value propositions that make the city connected, saving time and money showing new Talent that living and working in a "new" Corktown is a great lifestyle. For example, there is no gym or health club in Corktown, something that Millenials value. The closest are in Downtown at the Boll YMCA and New Center at Fitnessworks/Henry Ford. Just going to the gym this easily and economically for some will be very important or going to the Eastern Market.

Photo of Mackenzie Fankell

@Jayson Pankin Thank you so much for your thorough response! And congratulations on all that you have accomplished with the Halo City Scooters.

You mentioned that you were looking for additional anecdotes about mobility in the Corktown area. There were a lot of personal stories shared with us during the Explore Phase of the challenge. You can check out these stories at the following link:

I look forward to hearing more about Halo City Scooters in the coming months!

Photo of Jayson Pankin

Thanks Mackenzie-- I have started to review the other incredibly insightful exploration statements and certainly see that both infrastructure and mobility devices are common identified needs. We are very open to others working with us, so I also hope we are noticed by other too. I think the City of Detroit has done a very valuable job of building and maintaining key bike lanes, including fortunately those that cut through Corktown connecting Michigan Avenue to Downtown and the other neighborhoods that want Corktown folk to visit and who want to work in Corktown. These bike lanes and the Dequindre Cut makes deployment fast and easy without additional infrastructure investment for many of the 2 wheeled devices mentioned by others which is very helpful for Corktown to show it is not an island.