British startup Hilo – co-founded by Andy Palmer, often credited as the “godfather” of electric vehicles – has launched a new e-scooter packed with high-tech safety features to address the industry’s woes poor security officer
The e-scooter, dubbed the Hilo One, is equipped with the same collision warning technology found in cars. With the help of computer vision AI, the e-scooter warns drivers of imminent danger through visual, acoustic and sensory feedback on the handlebars.
“E-scooters have faced safety and public perception challenges,” said Palmer, who helped drive EV adoption in the UK during his time as COO at Nissan and later as CEO at Aston Martin. “The Hilo One is an e-scooter that addresses these concerns head-on.”
The area-wide lighting projects a circle of light around the vehicle. Photo credit: Hilo
The Hilo One is equipped with a large 31cm front wheel to eliminate potholes and the choppy ride found on some e-scooter models. It also projects lights from its chassis to improve nighttime visibility. These lights flash when other commuters get dangerously close. The on-board computer also connects to Unit 1 helmets and can detect helmet usage.
Beyond its safety features, the Hilo One has an integrated control unit that can be integrated into an electric car and bi-directionally exchanges navigation information and charging locations – particularly useful for EV drivers looking for a last mile complement to their car.
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The on-board computer can detect when you are wearing a helmet. Photo credit: Hilo
Charging can be done at home or using a special charger in the car. Thanks to Android Auto compatibility, navigation and range information can be exchanged between the car and the Hilo One.
Lotus Engineering, a division of race car manufacturer Lotus, contributed to the Hilo One’s overall design, including the patent-pending folding system. This encloses dirty wheels in the housing of the e-scooter and the Hilo One can be carried or rolled using the telescopic handle.
The Hilo One folding mechanism. Photo credit: Hilo
The Hilo One has a speed limit of 25 km/h according to the regulations and its two 350W electric motors deliver a range of 25 km/h 40 km.
No compromises were made when it came to design either – I saw it with my own eyes back then Micromobility Europe conference in Amsterdam and I have to say it’s a sleek, futuristic looking piece of equipment.
Not surprisingly, all of these gadgets and their good looks come at a hefty price – the Hilo One starts with that €2000. The startup is already taking pre-orders, with delivery scheduled for 2024.