Sick of storing your bike or scooter outside? The environmentally friendly Inu could answer this pain point – but at a hefty cost.
Let’s say you want to take public transportation to work but live too far from the train station or bus stop to walk. Whatever the motivation – you want to do what you can for the environment, or maybe you don’t want to fight traffic, or pay for gas, or leave your spouse without a car – getting from home to public transport and back again can often be a major obstacle to sitting back and enjoying the (mass transit) ride.
Haifa-based Green Ride has an answer: The Inu, a stylish, foldable two-wheeled electric and battery-operated scooter that the company likens to a dog (the meaning of the vehicle’s name, in Japanese) in that it’s friendly and trusted, and with their owners wherever they go.
The idea is that once users reach their destination, they won’t need to stow their vehicle outside, since it folds up on command to roughly the size of a tall wheeled 18-kilo suitcase and was designed by a former Italian auto designer to “look amazing, both on the road and in the living room,” Nadav Attias, Inu co-founder and vice president of business development, told Geektime.
“The revolution we are creating in the user experience of personal mobility is led by our automatic folding mechanism, which, like a Transformer, changes the Inu from something you ride to something you can take comfortably with you wherever you go,” said Attias. “We see the ability to eliminate the borders between outdoor and indoor as a must for a successful personal platform.”
How it works
There are several ways to fold the Wi-Fi-enabled “personal electric vehicle,” as the company calls it: Push a button on the Inu, tap your smartphone, use a hand gesture or issue a voice command. It can go up to 25 kilometers an hour, which is said to conform with most European regulations for driving without a license.
The Inu, which launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month, will hit the market in the second quarter of this year and will initially be available only in Barcelona, where the company says three-quarters of residents do not use cars to get around the city and where there are 180 kilometers of bike lanes where people could potentially ride the Inu. The Italian city of Milan, followed by the United States, are next on the list of launch locations.
“We think this is the next Vespa,” co-founder and CEO Ori Dadoosh told AFP.
The lowest-cost version of the vehicle will be selling for 2,999 euros and can go up to 20 kilometers without being recharged. The priciest version costs 4,999 euros and can go twice as far before recharging; there is also a mid-range version offering 30 kilometers for 3,999 euros. The Inu, which is electric and battery-operated, gets recharged at a personal docking station that comes with the vehicle and is meant to be stored at the owner’s home or office.
Green Ride, which would not reveal details about its financing other than to say it is “exploring its resources options,” says it wants the Inu to be the leader of a new category, that of “rideable tech.” But the electric scooter was actually one of many wheeled devices launched at CES, all offering a slightly different way of improving short-distance transportation.
These include a lightweight, two-wheeled, no-handlebar “personal mobility device” board with self-balancing technology by California startup IO Hawk that has been described as the love child of a skateboard and a Segway. It looks similar to Inventist’s Hovertrax, a gadget designed for indoor spaces, which rather limits its functionality as a means of transportation.
Other alternatives include a transporter with removable handlebars by China-based Inmotion that resembles the failed Segway and has sold in the thousands in China, as well as a foldable three-wheeled scooter by California startup Acton, which also makes Rocketskates, motorized roller skates that fit over your shoes and let you either walk or skate.