Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils have announced the launch of the second phase of the UK capital city’s rental e-scooter trial.
Featuring participation from e-scooter operators Dott, Lime and Voi, the aim of the second stage is to build upon the success of the initial trial phase, which was launched in June 2021, by gathering more data and exploring solutions to enhance safety and usability.
Among the new technologies being tested are AI-based parking compliance improvements and the use of pavement riding detection technology and audible vehicle alerts.
During the last two years, TfL and London Councils have worked with participating boroughs and operators to enhance geofencing technology and expand the number of designated parking bays.
There are currently more than 600 parking bays available across the trial area and efforts to improve the user experience will continue as the trial extends its coverage.
Helen Sharp, TfL’s e-scooter trial lead, said: “London’s trial of rental e-scooters is gathering hugely valuable data and insights about e-scooters, having successfully delivered more than three million trips so far.
“The successes of the first phase of the trial and efforts from operators alongside London Councils and the participating boroughs allows us to build on this through the next phase of the trial, which will make it even safer, easier and more convenient to use e-scooters through a rental scheme.”
Initially, the trial involved 10 London boroughs, but the next phase will see its reach expand, including the addition of around 190 new parking bays in the south of Lambeth later this year.
Safety, according to TfL, remains a key concern throughout the trial. Thus, rental e-scooter safety features include a maximum speed limit of 12.5mph (20.1km/h), continuous front and rear lights, GPS-controlled parking and no-go zones, unique identification number plates on each vehicle and stringent fire and battery safety management.
So far, the trial appears to have maintained an impressive safety record, with fewer than 0.001% of trips resulting in serious injuries, in accordance with TfL and the councils.
Michael Ventouris, general manager of London at Dott, added:”The first phase of London’s e-scooter trial has successfully shown that shared e-scooters can provide an efficient, safe and reliable service, carefully integrated into the city to respect all residents.
“We look forward to working closely with TfL and the other operators to continue to grow the service, encouraging more people to switch from cars to sustainable alternatives and contributing to lower pollution and congestion in London.”
What’s more, TfL, London Councils and the participating London boroughs are considering the development of a coordinated scheme to manage dockless e-bikes and e-scooters through a contract.
The initiative aims to improve parking for these vehicles while enhancing their quality and sustainability in the city.
The launch of the second phase of London’s rental e-scooter trial comes several weeks after Paris became the first major European city to ban the transport mode.
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