Voi to introduce monthly safety events in Northampton and new in-app measures in a bid to stop poor use
One ‘reaction test’ safety measure aims to stamp out drunk-riding
The company in charge of the e-scooter trial in Northampton is introducing a number of new safety features and is pledging to host monthly safety events.
Since the rentable electric scooters launched in the town in September 2020, Voi has received numerous complaints about the safety of the vehicle, which often block pavements and are ridden on pathways, when they should not be.
In an attempt to combat these issues, Voi is pledging to host monthly safety events, starting later this month or next month.
As well as the ‘end of ride’ photo which has already been introduced to help stop bad parking, the company is implementing four further in-app safety measures.
Jack Samler, general manager at Voi Technology UK and Ireland, said: “Our number one priority at Voi is to keep our riders and the wider community safe.
“E-scooter riders, like those riding bicycles or walking, are vulnerable road users so while we campaign for better infrastructure to protect them we also combine tech, education and design to make our service as safe as possible.
“We are continually looking at how to improve our vehicles, operations and technology to positively encourage responsible riding habits, whilst taking action against instances of misuse.
“It is an exciting time for urban transportation and we are thrilled that so many citizens are embracing this form of micromobility to travel in a fun, convenient and environmentally-friendly way.”
The new features are:
The ‘Helmet selfie’
This uses an image-classifier AI that is immediately able to detect if a user is wearing a helmet, with 95 percent accuracy.
After scanning a scooter to begin their ride, the user will be prompted to take a selfie, which unlocks the scooter.
Helmet-wearers are rewarded for their good behaviour and are issued five loyalty points at the end of their ride.
The ‘Reaction Test’
To stamp out drunk-riding, Voi has developed an in-app reaction test game, where the user taps helmets on the screen in a random sequence, based on current research that best predicts drunkenness.
The test is intended to discourage riders from illegally travelling on an e-scooter whilst under the influence.
Drunk riding is illegal and users can be fined and see points added to their driving licence.
The ‘Beginner’s Mode’
This in-app feature helps those taking their first e-scooter journey to feel safer by having the ability to control their maximum speed. The scooter’s speed can be reduced to 10mph.
The Voi app shares up-to-date advice on how to park properly.
The guidelines highlight slow-speed zones, incentivised parking spots, mandatory parking spots, no-park zones, no-ride zones and outside the Voi zone to riders.