iPhone integration in car consoles is of course nothing new, with Siri Eyes Free becoming an increasingly standard feature in new cars. But next year’s electric scooters appear to be taking the idea one step further: if you go to the showrooms to look at an electric scooter next year, you may well find that your iPhone doesn’t just connect to the console, it is the console …
Smart, the Daimler brand that makes the ultra-compact Smart Car, announced that its 5.4-horsepower Smart Scooter (pictured above and below) would use an iPhone as its instrument panel, serving as combined speedometer, range indicator and GPS. The scooter will sit alongside its existing electric-drive Smart Car and eBike.
Japanese manufacturer Terra Motors now appears to be following suit, with the A4000i electric scooter:
The A4000i not only uses your iPhone to display data to the rider, it can also stream it to the web.
E-scooter rental company Scoot uses smartphones (iPhone and Android) to activate the scooters.
It’s a trend we expect to see, ah, accelerate. A display console is an expensive component, so why bother to fit one when the rider probably already has a device in their pocket which is capable of displaying data and providing GPS functionality? The manufacturer saves some money, and the rider gets their phone charged while they ride: win-win.
Using an iPhone as a combined GPS and cycle computer is already popular with cyclists for much the same reason. Battery-life can be a challenge when using GPS on a bicycle, though, which is why some riders opt for a dynamo system rather than just a handlebar mount.
Updated with Scoot info – thanks, Oliver.
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