PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The newest way to get around Pittsburgh is getting people’s attention.
They’re called Autopods.
They’re bright green, and they’re the idea of Carnegie Mellon graduates.
Tanuj Apte, Arya Tabatabai and Deepak Vidhani say it’s modeled after pedicabs in Asia or Europe, and it’s meant to take passengers short distances.
While the driver pedals, there’s also a battery under the passenger’s seat that gives a little boost. They can only go 20 miles an hour.
“This is considered an electric-assist bicycle,” said Tabatabai. “So as you pedal, the motor kicks in, so it kind of helps you as you’re pedaling.”
The grads modified the pods, adding things like blinkers, a better suspension, and headlights.
They now have eight of Autopods and are offering service mostly downtown.
“For now, it’s a $5 flat fee anywhere in Downtown, and if you want to cross the bridges it’s $8,” said Vidhani.
They want to expand into Shadyside, Oakland and Lawrenceville and will soon have an app so you can order one.
Riding in one is fun, but what’s it like for the drivers?
“It can be a little bit of a work out if you’re going up an incline or have a lot of people in the back,” said Apte. “But at the end of the day, it’s an open vehicle. Everyone’s smiling at you. It’s super fun to drive.”
They say the group Bike Pittsburgh and Mayor Bill Peduto were very helpful in getting their business started and part of why those chose to do it in Pittsburgh.