Hi TM ... Apologies I have only just read this ..(I was in WI then in Europe between *Nov thru Dec1st!) ...Yes I would think we could consider alternative propulsion sources to hook up the "eChariot" in time ...our intent is to consider both modularity and scaleability of the concept for diverse applications both inner city and rural for all the worlds people! (Not just the rich developed world of inner city situations, but everywhere else especially where infrastructure is less developed but there is an abundance of solar/ renewable sources of energy!)
Hi BT ! These are good questions. Currently our thought is that initially it should be for distributing goods (fresh produce/pharmaceuticals to elderly) as first applications as this is easier (less safety and human factor issues, more straightforward business case). In general, we don't see how it would be much different from the pedicabs one sees moving passengers/tourists around - in many cities and tourist locations, such as Manhattan (see below).
Again, the initial vehicle(s) would not be sold to individual but be operated by a company (e.g. perhaps, eventually, Kroger or Meijer might own a fleet of them, for example) and therefore, the employee is responsible for ensuring it is not stolen or abused. The second phase of the project involves developing and testing the "Uber-like" app for calling the vehicle within a geofenced zone inside the city (like Waymo's AVs) and could be for moving people, such as disabled, elderly. But we think testing base vehicle for goods movement is a "safe" starting point.