The next time you rent a Lyft scooter, you might find the company has a new model for you to ride. Starting today, Lyft is rolling out a “next-gen” electric scooter across its footprint. The device features a redesigned suspension system Lyft claims will result in smoother rides. The company says the new model can also travel to places its previous scooters could not, thanks to a more powerful motor and 11.5-inch airless tires.
Internally, Lyft has equipped the scooter with a swappable battery that provides up to 50 miles of range and that can be charged out in the field. Later this year, the company plans to roll out a variant of the scooter that can recharge at stations connected to local electrical grids. The scooter also features cameras and Lyft’s latest sidewalk detection and parking awareness software. When you need to park the scooter, that software will use visual cues to alert you of restrictions, including areas where you can’t leave the scooter. Last but not least, the scooter comes with a built-in phone mount to make navigating easier.
At the same time, Lyft has begun rolling out new docking infrastructure. The company has redesigned its steel bollards to make them more resistant to corrosion and rust, and, thereby, easier to maintain. It has also added solar cells to the bollards and found a way to make them more power efficient. Those are changes Lyft says should make them go longer between battery swaps. As mentioned above, the bollards can also pull power from the local power grid, a feature Lyft claims will increase vehicle availability. If you’ve run into trouble docking a Lyft scooter or e-bike before, you’ll also be happy to learn the new bollards feature a redesigned locking mechanism Lyft says requires “significantly” less physical effort to use. Additionally, they feature flip dots and speakers to make using them more accessible to first-time users.
Lyft hasn’t said when people in specific cities could expect to see its new scooters and docking infrastructure arrive, but it sounds like the rollout will take place gradually throughout the year.