CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston residents may soon have another option for downtown transportation at their fingertips — and it runs on three wheels.
A Pittsburgh-based startup called Autopods is creating a whole new meaning to the word “pedicab,” traditionally seen as a human-powered cart that transports riders through pedaling.
Justin Gaull, vice president of economic development for Charleston Area Alliance, said the group has been in talks with Autopods’ founders to bring them to Charleston.
The brainchild of Carnegie Mellon graduates Tanuj Apte and Deepak Vidhani, both of Dubai, Autopods have a few key differences to set the service apart from conventional pedicabs.
The three-wheeled “micro-taxi” is battery-assisted, giving drivers an extra boost as they pedal through urban areas. The charged battery runs up to 80 miles and, per federal regulations, the vehicle’s top speed is 20 mph, Apte said.
The pods are designed for short rides of two miles or less; a bright green fiberglass shell covers passengers and the driver from the elements…