Scooters, bicycles and their electric alternatives make up the most popular micro-mobility choices present today in our cities. As the world is adjusting to the new reality caused by the current epidemic, attention is turning to micro-mobility as a potentially safe option for people to travel in cities. But before increasingly using micro-mobility instead of public transport in these challenging times, attention should be given to the safety of micro-mobility and how it can best serve users and the mobility ecosystem in the city. These are only some of the ideas discussed during the latest ERTICO Academy webinar that had the participation of ERTICO Partners DEKRA, the City of Trikala and Ubiwhere. Find out more in this recap or view the entire webinar recording!
Micro-mobility is more complex than just the hardware. The ERTICO Academy webinar discussed about considerations related to safety, use of data, data sharing and city planning related to micro-mobility.
“Particularly in the current climate, micro-mobility is regarded as a safe alternative to overcrowding on public transport, but we need to look beyond just the social distancing guidelines and consider safety related to the existing city infrastructure, regulations and the micro-mobility devices that are being used. Road safety has long been a priority for ERTICO and we are currently working with our Partners to make sure that micro-mobility is truly a safe alternative in all aspects.”, said ERTICO Director of Research & Innovation, Dr. Johanna Tzanidaki.
The sudden boom of micro-mobility over the past two years has certainly meant learning by doing, starting from the introduction of regulations for speed, the integration of scooters with public transit, sanctioning unsafe driving behaviour, countering vandalism, updating of infrastructure when possible and individual governance.
“These are all challenges that arose with micro-mobility, and which need to be solved by working together with different stakeholders of the whole mobility sector, including cities.”, said Dr. Kerim Galal, CEO of DEKRA DIGITAL. “DEKRA DIGITAL did its part by introducing a new standard which provides safety measures for e-scooter users thanks to the implementation of eight safety requirements, with 120 test points ranging from technical design all the way to sustainable recycling. These requirements then have to be ensured either by the scooter provider or the municipality.”, he added.
Safety is one of the challenges that many cities are faced with when it comes to micro-mobility, but where there are challenges, there are also opportunities, as explained by e- Trikala. “By operating small electric vehicles in Trikala and thanks to European-funded projects, we are testing the reactions of the users and negotiating with the Government how we can facilitate all these new technologies.”, said Odisseas Raptis, CEO of e-Trikala. “Thanks to micro-mobility solutions we can reduce transport emissions and work towards declaring Trikala a zero emission city in the future.”, he concluded.
Micro-mobility is a building block for smart cities, which is the focus of ERTICO Partner Ubiwhere. By collecting data from different micro-mobility solutions, Ubiwhere can optimise operations for both transport operators and users. “Thanks to data, cities can manage all aspects related to micro-mobility and check, for instance, the traffic of e-bikes and e-scooters, if there are any accidents involving them, optimise logistics operations, plan the city’s infrastructure and much more.”, said Ricardo Vitorino, Ubiwhere’s Smart Cities R&I Manager.
The ERTICO Academy webinar on micro-mobility was a chance to collect real-case stories, share challenges and successes and set the ground to move forward towards a complete, safe and efficient mobility ecosystem in cities in the near future.