Carson Brown, co-founder and head of product at electrical scooter startup Taur, spent 4 years using a self-balancing electrical unicycle to work. Today, he rides a scooter a number of instances every week.
As a micromobility person, Brown has thought rather a lot in regards to the design of sunshine electrical automobiles. What parts do they should should make individuals see them as legitimate types of transportation, quite than toys? How may the design of a scooter incentivize a rider to switch public transit rides or automotive rides with the automobile, as a substitute of simply utilizing it for enjoyable within the park?
Brown has a deep background in product growth, which is to say, he’s obsessive about how a buyer will use his product. He thinks this mentality will assist Taur be the corporate that separates owned scooters from shared scooters, that reveals individuals learn how to combine scooters into their day by day lives, that makes scooters cool.
“All scooters should have really good bike lights, should handle really well and have wheels big enough to ride over the terrain that you’re going to get in the city. But those are just the starting points.” Carson Brown
Taur has stood out within the oversaturated however largely meh scooter market by daring to design a automobile that’s front-facing. The firm is at the moment gearing up for its first launch in Los Angeles, which can check the mettle of this daring concept.
The startup remains to be very new — Taur was based in 2019 when it launched a preorder marketing campaign for its modern white flagship automobile. It’s raised about $5.2 million thus far, together with its current $3.3 million seed spherical from Trucks VC.
We sat down with Brown to debate why scooters must be designed to deal with roads that exist in the present day, how good design may also help individuals adapt to make use of scooters of their day by day lives and why Taur may very well be the model ambassador that the scooter market must flourish.
Editor’s be aware: The following interview, a part of an ongoing collection with founders who’re constructing transportation firms, has been edited for size and readability.
You labored at Uniwheel for 4 years. What did you be taught there that you just’ve dropped at Taur?
Carson Brown: My time at Uniwheel was very early within the electrical unicycle area. Our group got here from throughout — some automotive, some Formula One. I had a product background. We had been all designing one thing from the bottom up that we hadn’t actually seen earlier than. In constructing that product fully from scratch, you discovered a great deal of stuff in regards to the fundamentals of electrical automobiles, batteries, motors, drivetrains. But you additionally be taught what it’s wish to be a person. The most beneficial factor I discovered was what it’s wish to commute on a micromobility automobile on daily basis for 4 years. That was how I set to work, how I did errands. It was very a lot an all-in try at understanding what the product wanted to be and the way the advantages of it had been fully completely different from something that you may expertise.
When I used to be at Uniwheel, electrical scooters barely even existed, so we had been constructing that for primarily a distinct segment viewers. Electric scooters in the present day symbolize one thing that each my co-founder and I’ve actually excessive confidence individuals might be taught instantly and will ship all the advantages of any small micromobility automobile. You get the portability features, the convenience of use, the actually low price of operation. They’re a a lot better match for a mass viewers.
What has stood out to you as a micromobility commuter that you just’ve dropped at Taur?
The foremost factor was making riders really feel assured on the highway. It’s getting higher in a number of cities with bike lanes, however there’s sometimes this terrible expertise of feeling considerably like a second-class citizen, whereby you’re occupying part of the highway the place you’re not anticipated to be, and it may be fairly intimidating should you’re not ready. So from a design standpoint, there are issues you are able to do about that. Obviously, there’s the lighting of the automobile. There’s the way it handles each when it comes to stability and management. The visibility of it to different highway customers, which is why we designed a white scooter. All of this stuff can enhance your confidence to experience recurrently. What we don’t need is for individuals who adore it, however don’t really feel secure using it within the again streets or for leisure on the weekend at a park however not utilizing it on daily basis. At the forefront of our minds was, how will we construct one thing that folks would really feel assured to make use of on daily basis?
Also, the Uniwheel delivered extraordinarily nicely on portability. So the entire idea of having the ability to take a product inside as a substitute of the default of locking it up exterior. That reduces the possibility of theft and opens up that further mobility. Like if I’m at house, it’s with me. If I’m at work, it’s with me. I simply have to determine to wish to go someplace, and that accessibility is a sport changer.
Taur remains to be originally of its journey. What’s the long-term imaginative and prescient? Are you sticking with scooters?
We’re fairly centered on two-wheeled transportation. I don’t understand how broad we’ll get, however there’s a number of scope for innovation. The newest nationwide numbers we’ve checked out present scooters have outdone e-bikes each when it comes to unit gross sales and development. So we see a number of dry powder on this area.