by Edwin Tan, Co-founder and President, Veo
At Veo, we take a unique approach to micromobility by manufacturing our own, purpose-built scooters for shared use from the ground up. This hands-on process enables us to integrate safety, comfort, compliance, and reliability directly into our hardware. Through our integrated R&D and manufacturing process, as well as surveys from riders, community members, city officials, and street safety advocates, Veo continuously adapts our vehicles to the needs of cities and communities.
After extensive research and development, we’re excited to introduce our latest generation of electric scooter: Astro 4, the first shared e-scooter in the U.S. with integrated turn signals.
The Astro 4 is our safest, smartest, most durable vehicle model. Designed and manufactured in-house by Veo, it is equipped with the industry’s most advanced technology in material, safety, sustainability, and vehicle intelligence. Our Astro 4 is fully production-ready and we are rolling out the initial batch to Santa Monica and New York City.
With integrated turn signals, Astro 4 riders can keep their grip on the handlebars while turning. This may seem like a minor addition at first glance, but our experience operating across the country and review of leading research on scooter safety shows us that details like these really matter. The majority of scooter crashes and injuries involve other vehicles — turn signals are the safest way that a rider can convey their movements to fellow road users, providing the predictability that improves everyone’s safety. Of the incidents that do not involve other modes, the majority are caused by user error and road conditions like potholes, so keeping two hands on the handlebars is clearly the safest way to ride.
Our scooters are put through 17 rigorous safety and durability tests, including road simulators, falling, and jumping tests, to measure the safety and sturdiness of the device. These tests have allowed us to identify and further improve the core features that have made our previous vehicle iterations successful, resulting in the Astro 4 model.
Besides the turn signals, here are a few of our favorite features:
1. Accessibility: Scooters blocking the right of way are an annoyance for everyone, and an accessibility problem for people who use wheelchairs or experience mobility issues. After consultation with community members and people with disabilities, we have equipped our VS4 scooters with the ability to ask passersby to “Please Pick Me Up” if they’ve fallen down. The special lighting also ensures that knocked-over devices are easily visible, even at night, so people don’t trip. And, yes, we made sure that the VS4 is polite and says “Please”. (“Thank You” will have to wait for a future update.)
2. Smoother riding: Front and rear suspension reduce the potential of a rider falling off of the scooter due to a loss of control from bumpy road conditions. Astro 4 is the only shared electric scooter in the US with both front and rear suspension. Better suspension means riders can worry less about road conditions and keep their eyes on the cars, pedestrians, and cyclists around them.
3. Safer riding at night: The Astro Vs4 e -Scooter features a bright headlight, taillight, and deck light that — all visible from 500 feet away — automatically activate for the entire duration of a riders’ trip at night. Reflectors are also attached on all sides of the vehicle to increase its visibility at night.
4. Advanced breaking: An active brake light system: When a rider uses the brake lever, the rear light flashes to notify any riders or drivers behind the scooter. Two independent braking systems (dual-front and rear wheel-mechanical brake + electronic assisted braking system) provide redundant braking mechanisms to reduce brake failure and to protect the rider from flying over the handlebars. Built-in sensors monitor the brake functionality of each device to ensure our users’ safety. We can disable vehicles remotely when Field Technicians see the brakes need attention, reducing the possibility of someone using a vehicle that won’t reliably stop.
5. Improvement on the swappable battery: New industry-leading safety protections and sensors optimize charging operations and energy use. Veo’s durable, waterproof swappable batteries improve vehicle availability while reducing VMT and congestion associated with fleet management. Brining fully charged batteries to the scooters, instead of hauling each scooter back to our warehouse to charge, also enables us to use our zero-emission cargo bikes for recharging trips.
6. Alerts: New audio notifications will alert riders when they enter geofenced no-ride zones or no parking zones and inform them of what to do to correct the issue. In fact, the VS4 includes a variety of audio notifications covering the key aspects of safe and responsible riding behavior, making it easier than ever for our riders to understand local rules and regulations.
7. Hardiness: We fully enclosed the wires and cables on the VS4 to help reduce vandalism and theft, ensuring longer lifespans for our vehicles, and safer riding for all.
8. Magnesium Alloy: Astro 4’s frame body and wheels are made of magnesium alloy using proprietary technology. The material is 30% lighter than traditional aluminum alloy and 70% lighter than stainless steel. We can use much less material during our manufacturing process, which means it’s more sustainable and less waste.
My goal at Veo has always been to develop and deploy vehicles that can make big improvements on the status quo, advance the broader goals for safe, orderly, accessible, and sustainable micromobility systems, and deliver an extraordinary experience for our riders. No vehicle embodies this more than the Astro 4. But we won’t stop here: Innovation must be a continuous process and Veo’s closed-loop approach to hardware design, manufacturing, and operations means we will continue to lead by developing entirely new vehicle modalities and the infrastructure assets that cities will need to support the growth of truly sustainable transportation systems.