A few months ago, several companies started deploying electric scooters on the sidewalks of cities around the United States. Dropping electronic waste on cities around the country was not looked upon kindly by these municipalities, and right now there are hundreds of Bird and Lime scooters in towing yards, just waiting to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
This is a remarkable opportunity for anyone who can turn a screwdriver and handle a soldering iron. For mere pennies on the dollar you can buy dozens of these scooters, and you can own thousands of dollars in batteries and electronics if you show up to the right auction.
As complaints roll in, San Francisco considers action over wave of motorized scooters
The subject of this conversion are scooters deployed by Bird, which are in actuality Xiaomi MIJIA M scooters with a few added electronics to connect to the Internet. The hardest part is finding a screwdriver with the right security bits, but that again is a problem eBay is more than willing to solve. Right now, [humanbeing21] is in contact with a towing company that has well over a hundred Bird scooters on their lot, each accruing daily storage fees.
Right now, scooter hacking is becoming one of the most interesting adventures in modern-day hacking. Wooow wow, hold on. Why there are on sale? What happened to Bird and Lime that they are selling those? Which are probably criminally highway theft level of fees. Towing companies should die.
And the tow yard can still sue the owner for the difference between the fees charged and what the lot went for at auction.
If it was better for them, they would. Expect the batteries to be dead or damaged, and the mechanical components being on their last legs. These city-bike type schemes always end up with the equipment breaking down on the way, or intentionally stolen, abused and wrapped around a streetlight, thrown in ditches and pools, or just kicked and beaten to bits etc.
Then they get picked up by the authorities or cleaning companies from where they happen to lay, tossed in the back of a truck in a pile, and taken to the impound lot. They see a lot of abuse along the way. But this was here in my city. They confiscated them in early mid october and they were just placed for a few weeks.
Most of these should be in pretty good condition!!! Two months later they were all broken down or lost. You will have to go around in a pickup truck, and fish them out of ditches and bushes, and fix them again and again. It takes just one asshole to break one bike per one day, and months later the whole fleet is gone.
They did this in Portland, had a bunch of yellow bikes that people could ride for free. So the next batch of bikes were painted Barbie pink and welded together. More like cyber-junk. The other part of the movement seldom written about, but depicted in Wall-E, and Deponia. If they would just identify as human waste, in modern US cities there would be no interference.
Some people think cell phones, computers, and the internet is not wanted, does that make it waste? The individual soul is naturally a free spirit, with limits of ability defined by the bodies we are assigned to.If you don't have an account you can sign up for one now.
You can also reset your password if you've forgotten it. I get it that I can probably not steal it as there are GPS chips on it, but what about damages while they all just sit there in public? According to Bird that provides the scooters, there are indeed few mechanisms that prevents theft and vadalism:.
Maybe when a person goes to pick up the Scooter and it is damaged, they can be prompted to report the damage to Bird or whichever company they use. Then they can determine it was the person who used the scooter prior who caused the damage, and charge them accordingly. Thats a good idea. I wonder if any of the companies have started doing that yet. You would think they want a system in place to avoid such damages and potential costs for them.
They crowd source this. People get paid to pick the scooters up, bring them home, and charge them. If the scooter is damaged, then they know who last used it. I assume that if it's an isolated incident, they probably just let it go. After all someone could have come along and damaged it after the last person rode it.
But if the same person keeps having damaged scooters they would probably ban them eventually is my guess. Wouldn't all the scooters end up being in a single location then? Not home for the scooters, home for the person charging them. I don't know where they bring them afterwards. I guess they just put them back on the street. You know, I live in CA, and I thought they had this figured it.
I mean how could they be pushing this if they hadn't, right? China had major issues in the past decade with rental bicycles, so I suspected they worked out the kinks. If you broke it or dipped in sewer, jut end your ride, and it's back on the streets.
It's like how things will be with Autonomous Robot Taxis. Some people have talked about this. Those cars will get super dirty, and if there are no drivers, what will they do?
Robots can't clean cars.Recently, we've been exasperated by the general behavior and laziness of some members. ScooterHacking was made to grow knowledge, interest, and tools around the new world of electric scooters. This objective cannot be reached without all parties acting proportionally.
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Vandals Crack Open Dockless Scooter, Discover Particle Electron Board Inside
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Configure your own custom firmware by adjusting the options below. There are safety checks in place to ensure your scooter will not be bricked. Be aware that a higher motor power will shorten the lifetime of your battery and could damage your motor.
By default nothing will be patched, enable patches with the "Patch? ScooterHacking needs your attention! If you're a user wanting to learn: Scoop ScooterHacking and the whole internet about the information you're looking for!As long as you don't try to ride one while locked, the alarm shouldn't go off.
Domestic sellers are selling them for slightly more expensive. E-scooters aren't impenetrable, as chargers independent contractors paid by scooter operators to collect and charge the vehicles at home and hackers know.
A few months ago, Mel Magazine went deep into the world of scooter hacking and charger fraud. Here's why e-scooter operators aren't that concerned. Yes, scooter maintenance is costing companies — reportedly some scooters only last two months.Buying Bird Electric Scooters on Wish...
Vandalism and theft don't help business either. In San Francisco, Scoot saw of its scooters taken within two weeks of launching in mid-October, according to the Wall Street Journal. Scoot only has scooters allowed in the entire city. Still, the scooters pay for themselves pretty quickly.
The cost of vandalized, stolen, or hacked scooters hasn't been enough to derail the convenient pick-them-up-and-drop-them-off-anywhere system. And scooter companies have some tricks up their sleeves.
Bird no longer uses the model hacked apart in the post, but the company knows its vehicles are targets. It likened vehicle vandalism and manipulation to "breaking windows in your neighborhood. Bird said they were "aware of recent posts encouraging others to destroy Birds" and that they were taking "necessary actions.
Lime said it's not aware of any hardware takeovers, but its scooters are fairly customized, unlike the Xiaomi scooter Bird, Spin, Lyft, Goat, Scoot and other companies use or previously used. Because all our scooter parts are custom-sized and designed, they have zero resale value," a Lime spokesperson said.
The more customized the scooter, the more difficult they are to hack and steal — at least that's the logic. Gotcha, which operates e-scooters and e-bikes at college campuses and cities, said their scooters haven't been hacked yet. As CEO Sean Flood said in a call, his company is more concerned about hackers getting user information and data. View this post on Instagram. A Scoot spokesperson also said its proprietary design prevents hardware hacks, especially now that it's trying out locks for scooters to clear up sidewalks and discourage any would-be thieves.
There are other ways to get a free ride. A quick Google search for "Bird scooter hacks" brings up multiple YouTube videos, including this popular trick that involves lifting the scooter off the ground.
For people who don't actually want to maintain and store their own personal scooter, it's an easier way to scam the system. But new Bird models look like they've countered the hack. Then there are the more creative "retrofits," which aren't so much hacking as completely repurposing the scooters.
Constantly amazed at the ingenuity of people in Baltimore, where dockless scooters are now being retrofitted to be mopeds. At least hacking scooters takes some skill and handiwork.
Pointless destruction is a lot easier than rewiring and hacking the devices. No matter the tricks Bird and Lime add to their next generations of scooters, there's no hardware or software update to stop scooter killing. We're using cookies to improve your experience.
Ninebot ES/SNSC Custom Firmware Toolkit
Click Here to find out more. Tech Like Follow. It seems almost too easy to steal an electric scooter.As Harry has coveredBird uses the independent contractor system in to keep their scooters charged each day, known as Bird Chargers. And they actually use this same system to ensure they are maintaining the scooters with their teams of Bird Mechanics.
The starter kit included a few tools Allen wrenches, tire lever, air pump and replacement parts inner tubes, tires, stickers. I had better quality tools to begin with, including a hand-held power air compressor which makes things a lot easier. Related article: essential gear for scooter mechanics. Bird uses a single app for riders, Chargers, and mechanics. Mechanic mode will show a map of birds in need of repair, along with a task list of Birds in your possession.
The types of repairs you will do as a Bird Mechanic depend. I must figure it out by inspecting it. If a Bird has more severe damage such as cut cords, broken neck, etc. I assume there were some who abused this and would just drop off everything without trying to fix. After all, if you drive by something like this, you may not even stop. As mentioned, they give you some basics in the starter kit, but you can simply request additional parts to be shipped out to you from the Support Chat.
Pro Tip: You can always go to the drop-off facility and pull parts. We can also drop them off at anytime between 4am-5pm. The map can be misleading, and the Birds are often not there. In fact, depending on the area, they typically get scooped up in 20 min or less. Bird has said they are slowing down the onboarding. I assume they brought on a bunch of mechanics, then slowly weeded out the bad apples. Lime uses the Ninebot ES2 scooters. Bird has some of these models also.
They tend to be either very simple repairs screw tightening or electronic troubles that require specialized repair technicians. The rise of these dockless scooters is exciting, as they have the potential to cut down on carbon footprint and traffic congestion.
Fixing Bird scooters can be fun and lucrative for now if you enjoy working with your hands. If you decide to become a Bird mechanic, I simply ask that you understand the responsibility that comes with it. Remember, riders get on these scooters with the expectation that they are safe and well maintained. There are lives are quite literally in your hands.
Join our forum, where Bird Chargers and Mechanics ask questions and share advice, tips, and tricks. Readers, have you considered becoming a Bird Mechanic or are you interested in becoming one? I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.
Please note that The Rideshare Guy has financial relationships with some of the merchants mentioned here.That's a fast rise for the Los Angeles-based company, which launched its first scooter pilot program in Santa Monica, California, last September. It now operates scooter shares in 22 US cities. The scooters, which can go up to 15 miles per hour, give city residents an alternative commuting option. They operate on the same lithium ion batteries that cell phones and tablets use.
Related: Uber and Lyft want to be about so much more than cars. But not everyone is onboard with the electric scooter craze. Scooter startups like Bird allow riders to park them anywhere that doesn't block pedestrian walkways. However, residents in cities such as Los Angeles say they often litter sidewalks and pose a danger to pedestrians. On Instagram, ScootersBehavingBadly showcases photos of electric scooters blocking traffic and parked on top of city benches.
Some cities like San Francisco and Denver have even banned them until new regulation is passed. Vanderzanden said he believes the scooters should be regulated, too. Related: Self-driving cars.
The future of commuting to work is here. We're actually supportive of regulation. Although Bird was among the first scooter share companies to market, it faces increasing competition from companies such as San Francisco-based Lime, which operates scooter and bikeshare programs in 70 cities. On Monday, Uber announced it is partnering with Lime to offer scooter rentals within its app. Meanwhile, Lime put hundreds of the scooters on the streets of Paris last month.
We need to [add] more because people are looking for them. Lime said one million people in the US already use its bike and electric scooter sharing services. He declined to share Lime's valuation. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo approved Lime's scooter operation in the city, as long as riders stay on the road or city bike lanes. The age of scooter sharing is upon us.
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NextAdvisor Paid Partner.As cities like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills struggle to control a rapid proliferation of electric pay-per-minute scooters, some residents are taking matters into their own hands and waging a guerrilla war against the devices. These vandals are destroying or desecrating the vehicles in disturbingly imaginative ways, and celebrating their illegal deeds on social media — in full view of authorities and the public.
The vandalism echoes a rash of pellet-gun attacks on so-called Google buses in the Bay Area and appears to be motivated in part by resentment over the increasing presence of tech corporations along the Southern California coast — what is now dubbed Silicon Beach.
But unlike the attacks on buses that ferry workers to their Google and Apple offices, the scooter destruction has elicited little sympathy or outrage — to say nothing of criminal investigations.
In Venice, where Bird is headquartered, City Council members voted to cap the number of scooters on city streets while officials craft longer-term regulations. Beverly Hills officials ordered them banned for six months.
The account has more than 24, followers. One moderator, a Westsider who declined to give his name for fear of prosecution, said that more than videos and photos of scooters being defaced are submitted to the account each day. Only the most outrageous are published. Bird representatives were reluctant to discuss the phenomenon but urged people to report incidents of defacement. Natanel Edelson, a mechanic who does repairs for Bird in Venice, said he sees a lot of scooters with cut power cables and smashed brakes.
When Hassan Galedary of Culver City sees a Bird scooter, a knot in his stomach begins to twist and his teeth clench, he said. He even designed a T-shirt of a chick perched on a scooter being shot in the head. Many of his anti-scooter antics have been featured on the Bird Graveyard account. Galedary grew up on the Westside and said he hates how kids there are paying to ride scooters instead of honoring the local traditions of surfing and skateboarding.
While not everyone is as angry as Galedary, others agree that the sudden influx of scooters has changed the character of the Westside. They complain that scooter pilots zip through and around traffic without obeying traffic signals.
$30 plug-and-play kit converts a Bird scooter into a "personal scooter"
Tye Donaldson, a Venice barista, has a complicated relationship with the scooters. But Donaldson began to reassess their place in the community after she was hit by a scooter not once, but twice in the same month while running on the Venice Beach bike path. The first time, the teenage rider was driving slowly; Donaldson described the collision as a forceful nudge. She avoided injury by flopping over into the sand.
The second time, the scooter was going full speed, about 15 mph. Donaldson thinks speed restrictions should be placed on the scooters in heavily trafficked areas. Manny Torres, a postal carrier in Venice, pushed his mail cart down Innes Place recently and recounted several occasions in which he nearly hit scooters head-on with his truck.
The scooter riders, he said, were swerving haphazardly down the narrow side streets of Venice all too often.
Bird declined to say how much its scooters are worth, saying that information was proprietary. Yet the risk of arrest appears to offer little deterrent to those bent on scooter destruction. Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, said contempt for technology may offer a partial explanation for why people feel inclined to vandalize the scooters, despite the risk.
Ariely also compared scooter vandalism to road rage. When something upsets us, he said, it is natural to want to seek revenge, to teach the offending entity a lesson. The presence of images on social media of scooters being damaged may also lead some to view their urge to destroy as reasonable, Ariely said. But oddly enough, it was rampant scooter vandalism that gradually led Galedary, the Culver City Bird cynic, to a change of heart.