Nottingham’s fleet of e-scooters will be used to test technology that will automatically slow or stop the vehicle if it is being ridden on pavements or recklessly.
Superpedestrian is the company behind the LINK e-scooters across the city. The company is aiming to launch LINK e-scooters fitted with its new Pedestrian Defence safety system in 25 cities across Europe and the US after securing its largest-ever funding round of £93 million ($125 million).
The Pedestrian Defence system uses AI-based (artificial intelligence) software to collect data from multiple sensors built into the scooter. The sensors then send information to the scooter’s onboard Vehicle Intelligence system to help the rider take real-time action. It will detect unsafe riding behaviour, such as pavement riding, stunt riding and swerving through traffic, and automatically slow or stop the scooter.
The e-scooter trial began in autumn 2020 and will continue until May 2024. Nottingham is one of many cities trialling e-scooters, and learning made in the city will be used to plan the smooth integration of e-scooters into cities around the UK if they are legalised in the future.
Here are some safety tips when riding:
1 – Ride on the road
It is illegal for e-scooters to be used on the pavement as they are road vehicles. This is for the safety of pedestrians. Where possible, use the e-scooters on cycle paths, if there aren’t any, you must ride on the road. To deter users from breaking the rules, a three-strike system has been introduced to stop repeat offenders. The first strike is a warning, the second is a week ban, three strikes – you’re out! The user will be permanently banned from using Nottingham’s e-scooters.
2 – Park safely
The e-scooters should be parked within the sprayed bays marked on the floor in the parking zones or in the parking racks. If there isn’t a bay, make sure the scooter is not blocking the path to allow for people with visual impairments, wheelchairs, and prams to pass by safely. A £10 fine has been introduced for users parking incorrectly or outside of parking zones.
3 – Wear a helmet
Helmets are recommended to be worn whilst riding the e-scooters to keep users safe especially as they must be used on the road (or cycle lane). They protect users from getting serious head injuries, they could save your life!
4 – Use the bells and lights
Make sure lights are working and bells are being used to let other road users know of your presence on an e-scooter. Wearing light clothing or reflective wear similar to on a bike can help you stand out.
5 – Check e-scooter for wear and tear
Although the e-scooters are checked regularly by Superpedestrian’s team, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing your own checks. Before you ride, check to make sure the brakes, accelerator, lights, and tyres are working as well as the handlebar is correctly aligned. If there are any issues, report it via the app and the Superpedestrian team will be notified to take it for repair.