Voi launches its Safety Report with a core message to cities: Let’s work together to get it right
Apr 26, 2023
Voi’s Safety Report aims to break down the opportunities for cross-sector collaboration to increase safety for vulnerable road users by making roads safer and educating inexperienced riders.
Voi presents its second company-wide Safety Report demonstrating its strategy and initiatives to improve the safety of shared micromobility. The report stems from a commitment to transparency through Voi’s Safety Pledge in August 2020. Voi’s first Safety Report was issued in June 2021, presenting a detailed risk assessment for shared micromobility.
Voi’s second Safety Report builds on this commitment to report accident data and safety measures, aiming to foster cross-sectoral collaboration to improve safety. The report aims to educate partners on the future opportunities to leverage the technological features of shared micromobility when working in partnerships.
“Shared micromobility has a transformational potential to help shape sustainable and safe cities. However, the initial years of this new industry have demonstrated a challenge for safety. Many of these issues are in Voi’s direct control. We have processes in place to monitor and ensure the safety of our vehicles. We are also utilising sensor technology to understand how riders engage with our vehicles and what causes accidents”, says Voi’s CEO and co-founder, Fredrik Hjelm, and continues:
“However, there are many factors impacting safety that we can’t control, and infrastructure is a critical one. Cities want to reduce car use, and we are here to help, but infrastructure needs to be adapted for the growth of private and shared micromobility. Through our vehicles, we collect data on accident-prone locations and we believe there are significant opportunities ahead in increasing collaboration with the public sector, to utilise this data to make streets safer.”
Voi’s target: zero severe injuries by 2030
Voi has set a Vision Zero target to have zero fatalities and severe injuries in its value chain by 2030. The target is tracked through Voi’s company-wide accident rate, which saw 5.45 major and severe accidents per million ridden kilometres in 2021 and 2022, based on data from over 120 million rides across 11 countries.
It’s important to be mindful that this is based on user-reported data. Voi works hard to make its data collection as accurate as possible since it’s key for informing decision-making on safety. Voi doesn’t claim to hold the entire truth on e-scooter safety just yet, but our entire organisation is dedicated to the acquisition and accuracy of impactful safety data
“To properly evaluate the safety of shared e-scooters, it’s necessary to improve public accident data collection from hospitals and the police. This data should be compared with industry-wide trip data to understand how the accident risk is developing. Only looking at the absolute number of e-scooter accidents is misleading since shared micromobility has grown rapidly in recent years, along with the use of privately-owned e-scooters. Voi calls for more public-private data exchange on accident statistics to drive data-driven decision-making”, says Christy Pearson, Voi’s Head of Central Policy.
Research utilising operator data and comparing it with public accident records from Sweden demonstrates a decreasing trend in accident risks for e-scooters. This finding is particularly noteworthy as Sweden is renowned for having one of the most accurate collections of public sector accident data.
Voi’s strategy to improve safety
Voi has set a strategy to reduce the risk of accidents, covering three focus areas, each with a set of specific actions. Many of these actions will not only reduce the risk of accidents in Voi’s value chain but also have a broader positive safety impact to support cities in achieving Vision Zero.
Safe vehicles and equipment
Ensuring that rental vehicles are safe every time they are used is of utmost importance and considered a hygiene factor for shared micromobility. The vehicle design is paramount, therefore, Voi analyses repair cycles and quality assurance checks of previous models, enabling us to develop even sturdier and more durable vehicles. Additionally, safety is impacted by repair quality and maintenance routines, which is why Voi utilises a wide range of sensors to monitor the fleet’s health. Extending beyond maintenance and repair, Voi works closely with R&D to leverage sensor technology to improve understanding of how riders engage with the vehicles and the root causes of accidents.
Lack of knowledge and compliance with traffic rules causes risky riding behaviours, such as intoxicated riding and breach of traffic light regulations. These behaviours can impact the safety of not only riders but also other road users. Voi is focusing on educating users through means such as our online traffic school, RideLikeVoila, user communications via the app and safety events on the streets. In addition to education, we utilise a variety of technologies to identify and deter irresponsible user behaviour, such as twin and pavement riding, enabling us to reward responsible behaviour while taking appropriate measures to address misconduct.
Heavy, fast-moving vehicles and a lack of safe infrastructure pose significant risks for vulnerable road users. Voi can directly contribute to making streets safer by increasing car-free access in cities. Additionally, Voi is engaging with cities and communities to highlight the need for better bike infrastructure and slow-speed limits for heavy vehicles. We strive to support cities in prioritising investments by sharing data to identify risky locations, including geolocations from previous accidents. Last but not least, Voi acknowledges that incorrectly parked vehicles create hazards for vulnerable groups, and thus engages with cities to ensure that sufficient parking infrastructure is obtained for micromobility.
“We believe that all accidents are preventable through a safe environment, safe vehicles and equipment, and safe behaviours – no matter if you are riding, working or living with micromobility. Voi’s safety strategy takes a holistic approach to improving the safety of our service and we are committed to continuing working with our partnering cities in achieving Vision Zero”, says Fredrik Hjelm.
Read the entire report to learn more about the safety initiatives Voi is taking.