Voi steps up its safety game with next generation scooter and safety pledge

Aug 24, 2020

We are beyond excited to unveil our safest ever scooter model – Voiager 4 – as we commit to leading the e-scooter industry on safety with a new safety pledge that will apply across all 11 countries where it operates.

Voiager 4 – the world’s first sharing scooter with indicators.

The new scooter model – Voiager 4 – the world’s first sharing scooter with indicators, allowing riders to alert other road users when they are turning, proprietary IoT hardware, as well as GPS tech that enables scooters to be tracked to within one meter accuracy, in challenging urban environments. The new scooter will also include AI technology to predict maintenance and servicing, allowing Voi to keep more working scooters on the streets and give a better and safer rider experience.

Voiager 4 includes sensors that can detect when parking racks are nearby, allowing riders to easily park scooters and minimise street clutter, an NFC reader to allow people without a smartphone to unlock the scooter with a phone card or transport card thus making e scooter accessible to those customer segments who might not own a smartphone.

The scooter also has an environmental sensor that can track noise levels. Long-term exposure to noise has significant health impacts, such as chronic stress, chronic sleep disturbance and increasing risk of heart disease. Further, some of our scooters will be outfitted with particle sensors. These features enhance our already comprehensive city dashboards, which we share with cities, with noise and air pollution data on an unprecedented scale and detail level.

At Voi safety is in our DNA and we constantly look for new ways to improve the e-scooting experience. With Voiager 4 we believe that we have taken safety to the next level. One concern for riders was the difficulty in indicating turning – we have now made this very easy with built in indicators,” says Fredrik Hjelm, CEO Voi Technology.

As we begin to launch our fleet in 12 UK cities, we are determined to lead the safety agenda for riders and all other road users and pedestrians. We will make Voi the most safe, sustainable and accessible scooter on the market and all of the new features support us in this ambition. One accident is one too many and we will continue to develop industry leading e scooters as well as collaborate with cities, traffic authorities, vulnerable groups and our users to make sure that our service and product is the safest on the street.

Voi also celebrates one year of the world’s first ever endorsed e-scooter traffic school by updating it including modules around Corona and safety as well as making it available in eight languages and adapted to local traffic laws. To date almost half a million users have completed the online traffic test to learn safe riding and Voi has given away close to a million free rides to customers having completed the test. The company today launches its ten-step safety pledge and continues to pave the way to safer scooting.

Voi Safety Pledge

Safety is in our DNA, and with our safety pledge Voi aims to be an advocate for a zero-vision of micromobility accidents. Because our mindset is that one accident is one too many.

In the coming twelve months, we will continue working tirelessly and holistically to promote and improve safe riding through the following steps, and we invite our e-scooter sharing peers to follow.

  • We pledge to have the safest riders on the streets

We believe in the power of educating our users through every available channel. That is why we launched the world’s first-ever traffic school for e-scooters – RideLikeVoila – certified by NTF (National Society for Road Safety in Sweden) and VIAS (Belgian Institute for Road Safety). Our traffic school includes an extensive set of questions (close to a 20 minute commitment to go through as a user) on traffic rules, signs, parking and general scooter knowledge – that has educated close to half a million users in the past year. We will continue to push our safety agenda to all active users through our app and through safety pop-ups across the continent (to date, we’ve hosted close to 100 safety events in our cities). While we believe that rewarding good behavior is more efficient, we are prepared to take corrective actions towards non-safe riders.

  • We pledge to have the safest fleet on the streets

While we are still a two year old startup – we are a startup with vehicles in the street, every single day. That means we have a responsibility to place out safe e-scooters that are maintained and served according to the highest of standards on a frequent basis. All of our scooter models have been certified by German standards – widely known as the highest standards in the global market. We will now be unveiling our safest vehicle ever – the Voiager 4 – featured with bigger wheels, indicators, AI technology that detects maintenance and servicing, and an environmental sensor that tracks noise and air quality levels in city centers. Furthermore, in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19, we are rolling out Europe’s first self-cleaning handlebars during the fall.

  • We pledge to continue using technology to find innovative ways of increasing road safety

All Voi scooters are capped at a speed according to local regulations (e.g. 20 km/h in Sweden and 15,5 mph in UK). Through geofencing technology, we have been able to increase safety by implementing slow speed zones in selected pedestrian areas, where scooters automatically slow down to walking pace. The same technology is used to implement no-parking areas and incentivized parking zones where users are rewarded for parking. With our in-house developed GPS tech that enables scooters to be located with one meter accuracy, we will be able to further use geofencing to reduce the risk of accidents, vandalism and clutter in hyper-relevant areas such as waterfronts and bar streets. Furthermore, we will be implementing safety-enhancing features suchas “helmet selfies” and “beginner mode”.

  • We pledge to be transparent and collaborate with academia and research institutes to increase knowledge on road safety and key challenges

Key to increasing road safety is ensuring that all stakeholders have access to relevant and accurate data. Voi pledges to share all relevant information with academia, research institutes and authorities that aim to take a holistic approach to micromobility safety. We will also be advocating for improved practices in reporting micromobility accidents as few markets can provide us with reliable data at this time. Moving on, Voi will be publishing a quarterly report on road safety, including new research, whitepapers and industry updates.

  • We pledge to continue collaborating with local authorities and police in all Voi cities

Should we be made aware of an accident in which a Voi e-scooter has been involved, we have a clear and thorough process in place to find out what caused it and how we, as an operator, can prevent the same incident from occurring again. We will continue assisting local authorities in investigations when needed, e.g. through data sharing, and are prepared to take corrective actions towards non-safe riders such as blocking their accounts.

  • We pledge to continue campaigning against riding under the influence

Under no circumstances do we condone riding e-scooters while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In the coming weeks, we will be launching drunk riding quizzes and reaction time tests during night hours, encouraging our users to choose a different form of transportation if they are under the influence.

  • We pledge to collaborate with vulnerable groups

We are and will continue to be in close dialogue with local associations for the blind and disabled, making sure that we are catering to their needs and that our scooters should not affect accessibility on sidewalks. We participate in awareness campaigns like White Cane Day and are leading a first-of-its-kind parking rack pilot in Oslo that has already proven physical parking racks have a clear effect on parking behavior, that could have a positive impact on clutter throughout all of our cities. Read more about the pilot results here.

  • We pledge to be proactive advocates for a zero-vision of micromobility accidents

We do this by pushing the debate on using regulation and infrastructure to increase road safety, because we believe that cities and governments have a responsibility towards its road users too. We believe there is much to do in terms of implementing speed limits in city centers (for all vehicles) and urban planning such as protected bike lanes and physical parking infrastructure. As private e-scooter sales have increased drastically in recent years, there is also a need to differentiate private use vs the use of shared e-scooters, as private vehicles usually reach a significantly higher speed and are not as well maintained as e-scooters connected to a shared service. Shared e-scooter companies like Voi have invested a lot in safety in the past couple of years, authorities have a responsibility to make sure private e-scooters and their users live up to the same standards and follow local traffic laws.

  • We pledge to help cities reach their ambitious climate targets

Because greener cities are safer cities too. Every year, thousands of Europeans die as a consequence of air pollution, and the transport sector stands for a large portion of CO2 emissions in urban areas. We contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in two ways: internally (by increasing the lifespan of our e-scooters and implementing green operations with electric service fleets powered by renewable energy), and externally by decarbonising the city e.g. through multi-modal partnerships aimed at getting people out of their cars. On the topic of creating greener cities, we are proud to sponsor several local diving associations that retrieve litter from the ocean beds. In every Voi city where there is water, we will seek out collaborations with such groups and continue to advocate against scooters, bikes, boat batteries and such being dumped in the water. We are also in the process of developing a drowning detection feature on our scooters, that will alert and help us locate e-scooters if they end up in the water.

  • We pledge to continuously evaluate commercial partnerships that aim to increase the safety of Voi riders and other road users

As a promoter of helmet use (we have handed out more than 30K free helmets across the continent in the past year), we are looking into partnerships where we increase the availability of helmets for our users, whether they have planned to ride an e-scooter or not. Did someone say foldable helmets? We can’t wait to tell you more…

  • We pledge to frequently seek the advice of external experts in the field

In 2019, we invited a group of European experts on road safety to be part of our Safety Council. In the list of members universities, research institutes, pedestrian societies and former members of national transport authorities are represented.

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