e-Scooter firm Spin has launched a new £100,000 Micromobility Research Fund in the UK in a bid to illustrate the vehicle type’s place in the transport ecosystem.
Over the next 12 months, the fund will support top researchers from ten leading universities in the UK and U.S. and a number of mobility experts from organisations in the international mobility ecosystem. They will study various safety aspects of e-Scooter use as well as rider travel behaviour and the challenges and opportunities of the integration of e-Scooters within a city’s road systems and existing public transport networks.
Josh Johnson, Public Policy Manager at Spin said: “The willingness to share independent research and learnings about the adoption of e-scooters with key stakeholders has become less of a priority for operators and this needs to change. Spin is committed to improving and advancing micromobility policy frameworks globally in the markets we operate in. These studies will give everyone fresh and actionable insights. We look forward to sharing best practices with stakeholders in the UK and beyond around how to best integrate e-scooters into local transport networks while maximising safety of all road users and provide communities with a green, fun and socially-distanced way to travel”
“Our top priority has always been rider safety. All operators have a responsibility to their riders to not only exceed vehicle safety standards but provide a platform to educate riders on safety best practices and how to be mindful of pedestrians and other road users,” added Johnson.
Preparation for the first piece of research is currently under way in Milton Keynes – with potential to extend it to other cities, including London. The study will explore factors that influence road-user safety seeking answers to questions such as:
- Where do e-scooter users ride most often (cycle lane, roadway, pavement) and why?
- How often do safety incidents occur, and what are common factors?
- What factors or conditions (i.e. cycling infrastructure, weather, traffic volume, etc…) impact real or perceived safety of e-scooters for users and for non-users?
E-Scooter safety has been a hot topic for the public, media, policy makers, city leaders and transport officials since the Department for Transport (DfT) trials began this summer in the UK. Spin aims to tackle these issues head on by uncovering potential issues as well as provide policy and regulatory recommendations – parallel to the DfT’s nationwide evaluation of the trials. Spin will share its findings with the DfT. Work supported by the fund is expected to have relevance beyond the UK trials for other cities and e-scooter operators globally.