E-scooter provider Voi is installing sound on its vehicles in three cities in an attempt to combat pavement riding and help protect pedestrians with sight loss.
The company says its engineers have designed a bespoke ‘low hum’ which will be added to itsbright coral e-scooters to alert other road users that one is approaching. It says the noise replicates the types of artificial engine noise introduced on electric cars in recent years and can be adapted and improved by Voi, based on feedback from users and the visually impairment community.
Over the next three months between it will be adding the sound to 60 e-scooters in its three largest cities; Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol. The micromobility company will be running in-person testing events with sight loss organisations and local authorities to get their feedback on the sound in a real-world environment.
It’s working with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to manage the sessions as part of a wider collaboration to ensure people with sight loss are not adversely affected by e-scooter pilots.
At the end of the three months, Voi will work with the RNIB to assess the feedback and publish its findings.
There are significant fears that e-scooters are dangerous when used either on pavements around pedestrians or on the road, where riders are seen as vulnerable around cars, lorries and vans.
(Picture: Voi/Bristol City Council)