Going nowhere: These escooters won’t run with two riders

Two people riding an electric scooter can lead to a fine of €35. — AFP Relaxnews

Escooter-sharing companies are deploying new technologies to avoid multiple riders using a single device – something that’s prohibited in many jurisdictions and dangerous. Solutions were demonstrated at the recent Autonomy Mobility World Expo in Paris.

In France, where the Autonomy Mobility World Expo takes place, escooter riders must also be at least 12 years old, ride on a bike path where available, not exceed 25 km/h and not carry another passenger. Carrying a passenger with you on an escooter is currently punishable there by a fine of €35.

While escooters are fitted with speed limiters, it has not previously been possible to prevent the presence of two people on the same scooter. However, operators are now presenting new technical solutions designed to block the operation of their devices as soon as the presence of two passengers is detected.

This is the case of the American operator Lime, which has just unveiled in Paris a detection system designed to clamp down on the possibility of two users riding on one of its electric scooters. This innovation takes the form of on-board sensors.

The new technology combines different data, such as acceleration and vehicle angle, to detect a sudden weight change at any time. If this is the case, a notification is immediately sent to the user and the speed of the device is automatically reduced until the vehicle comes to a complete halt. This technology should be progressively deployed to its fleet of electric scooters in the coming months, all over the world.

A major player in the shared soft mobility sector, Lime is now present in over 250 cities, including Paris, Marseille and Le Havre. Although less well known, the French company Pony also offers an intelligent system that prevents two people riding on scooters. This is a connected footboard, a one-of-a-kind creation.

Equipped with eight sensors, it detects the number of feet on the scooter and therefore the number of passengers. As soon as at least three feet are detected, a notification is sent to the user. An audible alarm sounds and the accelerator is instantly disabled. Note that the operator has an alternative proposal for those interested in traveling in pairs via its Double Pony two-seater e-bikes, available as part of its bike-share offer. Operator Bolt tested a tandem riding prevention system in Malta last summer.

These technological advances are one of the solutions provided by operators to address the increasing number of accidents caused by escooter users in urban zones. On April 2, Paris city hall will ask the French capital’s residents to vote on whether free-floating shared escooters should remain in the city.

In 2022, 34 people in France lost their lives while riding motorised personal mobility devices (PMDs), mainly electric scooters, according to the latest figures published by the French Road Safety Observatory (ONISR). – AFP Relaxnews

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