Designing for the Future of Micromobility

by Edwin Tan, Co-founder and President, Veo

Candice Xie and I founded Veo because we fundamentally believe when shared micromobility is done right, with high-quality hardware and sustainable business practices, it can transform communities around the world for the better.

Unfortunately, the boom and bust cycles of venture capital incentivize the opposite, harming the industry. While companies focus on scale, they ignored the fundamentals — that each vehicle needs to turn a profit. Dumping off-the-shelf, low-quality devices on city streets is not a viable business.

Cities and riders deserve better vehicles that are custom-built for them. However, designing quality hardware from scratch and commercializing them at scale is extremely difficult because of supply chain and manufacturing challenges. Many tech companies failed because they were unable to get it right.

That is where Veo comes in. As an engineer from Purdue with experience building the best bicycles in the world at Trek, I lead a team of innovators at Veo hyper-focused on quality design and sustainable, in-house manufacturing. Our team obsesses over every detail until we get it right, and we live for the challenges that each iteration can bring. We designed and engineered every vehicle from concepts, taking them to mass production, and making iterations quickly based on city and user feedback. (Link to “Inside Veo” at Veo Website). https://www.veoride.com/inside-veo/

Every vehicle model we rolled out has to pass the most rigorous testing standard we developed. We’ve created over 150 testing processes to simulate the real-world scenarios our vehicles may encounter, such as weather, wear and tear, misuse, accident, theft, vandalism, etc. We are doing this not only for extending the lifetime of our vehicles but also for our riders’ safety, which is the top priority in our design.

Veo Robotic Welding System
Veo Scooter Frame Welding Process

For many tech companies, creating good hardware design may be possible. However, Establishing in-house supply chain and manufacturing capabilities is not a simple step, which is probably why so few other micromobility companies have done so. This is why Veo is able to:

Innovate on vehicle types: micromobility vehicles are not limited to bikes and scooters. Our team is always on the frontier of developing the safest and most efficient vehicles to get people from point A to point B. Whether that is two wheels, three wheels, or four wheels, stand up or seated;

Constantly iterate, quickly: through our in-house R&D team, our existing models can be improved with new features, mechanical structure, and the best available materials every 2–3 months;

Ensure quality control at the most detailed level: In-house manufacturing means Veo can invest in the machinery and processes needed to make sure every detail of manufacturing is handled correctly and that we only deploy the highest quality vehicles;

Keep pace with rider preferences: Veo vehicles are custom designed to reflect the most up-to-date rider needs and materials, improving safety and comfort;

Create custom builds for specific cities: Veo can custom-build vehicles for different cities’ needs and local regulations, addressing their concerns for safety, parking and accessibility.

Designing and manufacturing quality hardware at scale is a big part of why we were able to achieve profitability before any other micro-mobility company, as we announced in December. Veo’s expertise in high-quality hardware and financial sustainability continuously strengthens our track record of being a transformational and sustainable city partner for generations to come. And now, with new forms of vehicles in the mix (including another to be announced soon!), cities can utilize custom “mixed fleets’’ with a wider range of users and trip types to fit their unique needs, rather than simply deploying as many scooters or bikes as possible.

I’m excited to continue pushing the boundary of innovation, building the best products and technology for cities and riders. Stay tuned for what comes next.