Bird’s electric scooters can now be unlocked with Bluetooth

Bird’s electric scooters can now be unlocked with Bluetooth

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Young women ride shared electric scooters in Santa Monica, California, on July 13, 2018. - Cities across the U.S. are grappling with the growing trend of electric scooters which users can unlock with a smartphone app. Scooter startups including Bird and Lime allow riders to park them anywhere that doesn't block pedestrian walkways but residents in some cities, including Los Angeles, say they often litter sidewalks and can pose a danger to pedestrians. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

ROBYN BECK via Getty Images

Bird has introduced a new feature that will help scooter renters get off the blocks more quickly. Quick Start uses the Bird app and your smartphone’s Bluetooth to detect when a scooter is within range, then gives you the opportunity to unlock it with the tap of a button. That means you could theoretically walk to a scooter and ride off with minimal fumbling and delay.

According to Bird, its testing found that “Quick Start complete[s] the activation process two times faster than using the traditional scan-to-unlock method” that requires the user to scan a QR code. an available scooter is within range, you’ll get a “Start” button, which will switch to “Reserve” if you’re out of Bluetooth range.

Bird has made several rider-friendly updates lately, most notably the Warm Up mode that reduces acceleration when you first jump on the vehicle. The idea with that was to help rusty riders confined by the coronavirus ease back into riding. While that feature might slow you down a bit when you first get moving, Quick Start in turn will help you unlock your ride quicker. The feature arrives to many of Bird’s partner cities starting today, and will arrive in others around the world “in the coming weeks.”

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