Indian Startup Introduces New “Flow” Smart E-Scooter
10 Mai 2018 - RideApart
22Motors launches new fully electric, AI-driven smart scooter
In many of the world's emerging markets, small displacement two-wheelers dominate the roads and make up the majority of the vehicles purchased. Because of this, the emergence of new electric technology has lead to an array of new e-startups out of China and India. The latest company to try its luck in the electric scooter market is India's 22Motors which just unveiled its Flow scooter.
On the surface the Flow looks like any other electric scoot, however underneath its fiberglass bodywork the model hides some pretty impressive tech. 22Motors developed an app that accompanies the Flow which utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning—or "Contact Learning" as 22Motors calls it—that goes beyond the basic Bluetooth connectivity and GPS we've become accustomed to on modern bikes and scooters.
Along with the usual GPS, alerts for texts, calls, geo-fencing capabilities, theft alerts, and traffic/road condition updates, the scooter's software also records user data and inputs and learns the owner's typical behavior. After establishing something of a baseline, the Flow is able to detect and warn its rider if any unusual change in behavior/riding is detected. The Flow is also able to give alert for service schedule needs, and it can even order parts automatically so they arrive when before or when they're needed.
22Motors also engineered the scooter with business use in mind, developing a fleet management and monitoring system that can be employed by companies that utilize fleets of Flows. Plus, all the data being recorded is sent directly to the cloud where it can be remotely viewed.
The Flow pulls juice from cloud-connected lithium ion batteries and a controller which were developed in-house by 22Motors. Power is supplied to a 2.1kW Bosch hub motor—equipped with regenerative braking capable of recycling more than five percent of the battery's life—which is housed in the rear-wheel. With a weight of less than 190 pounds, the Flow offers a claimed top-speed of around 40 miles per hour and, according to press materials, the Flow puts down more than tens times the torque of the Honda Activa which means it should produce no less than 65 foot-pounds.
The battery can be fully charged in about five hours via a standard charger, though a quick-charger allows for four times faster charging. A full battery gives the Flow a range of 50 miles, though 22Motors says it can fit two batteries to extend its range. The Flow can also be charged for just ten minutes and then can travel more than ten miles, in case a short trip is needed.
Other noteworthy features include underseat storage large enough to fit a full-face helmet, a reverse gear for easy parking, USB port, disc brakes fore and aft, cruise control, and full LED lighting. I'd argue the Flow's industrial design is a tad underwhelming, however its appeal clearly lies in its tech and commuter friendly nature. Regular production for the Flow is scheduled for sometime later this summer. Pricing is reportedly pretty reasonable too, at just $1,125.