Since Voi e-scooters first hit the streets in the U.K. on 3 September, people have taken over 45,000 rides and travelled more than 98,000 kilometres — that’s a greater distance than circling the Earth twice!
And while we have a lot to celebrate, we also have a lot to learn. One is accident is one too many. Every city is different, and with each trial, Voi understands more about how cities can get the most out of this new mode of transportation and how to use it safely. At Voi, safety is number one. In consultation with the city council, we’ve decided to pause our operations in Coventry to assess and improve our services. We look forward to returning to Coventry very soon and making the Voi experience safer and more enjoyable for everyone who shares the road.
One accident is one too many.
Safety doesn’t happen by accident, and here are some initiatives we’re taking to increase safety throughout the U.K.
- Double Voi ambassadors on the street to help people ride safely, answer questions, and monitor scooter activity.
- Increased collaboration between ambassadors and police: if problems arise, we are discussing how the police can step up their enforcement activity, paid for by Voi.
- Do more to keep pedestrians and riders separate: in consultation with each city, we are revising the no-ride and slow-ride zones, based on our learnings.
- Revise our geofencing: what is geofencing, you ask? It’s a GPS technology that creates a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area. Geofencing technology can be tweaked for each city to ensure that riding occurs in safe, monitored areas. We also want to make sure that riders aren’t suddenly slowed (that can be unsafe), so we have gradually decelerated the scooters. Slow-ride zones and deceleration now take effect earlier. We will make sure that speeds do not exceed 12.4 mph, and that we can control and stop scooters safely.
- Introduce number plates on all scooters: we think it is key to helping ambassadors spot rogue riders. It will also help the public to report people who ride dangerously or remove scooters from the trial zone. Licence plates are not a requirement in the U.K. legislation, but they are already in place in Germany. We think this will be crucial to maintaining good behaviour and rider responsibility.
- Increase rider education: we’re upping the incentives for people who complete Ride Like Voila, our online rider training school.
- Helmet giveaways: We want you to use your head when you’re riding, but we also want you to protect it. Helmets aren’t compulsory, but we have already given away hundreds — and will be giving away more in Birmingham this weekend! Our on-the-ground ambassadors will also soon be giving helmets away in Northampton, too. Once government COVID-19 restrictions on group gatherings are lifted, we plan to hold monthly safety pop-ups with helmet giveaways.