"I guess the e-scooter trials are a bit of a reset button," commented Jack Holloway, an expert in mobility brands at global brand agency Landor & Fitch on this week's Highways Voices podcast, " to see if they can deliver on the promise of alternative mobility. But for that trial to succeed, the local governments need to work with the rental operators."
Jack Holloway joined the podcast to discuss the ongoing issues of safety around e-scooters which have been involved in at least one death and several injuries in recent months.
He was responding to comments on a previous edition of Highways News's podcast by Peter Hitchens, the Mail on Sunday columnist, who called them "a recipe for injury" and, when it comes to solving a transport challenge, “whatever you do, there is no problem to which electric scooters are the answer.”
Jack Holloway commented that there are several technological safety features built into the rental trials, "[They go at] a maximum of 12 and a half miles per hour, which I think is quite reduced in comparison to many other kinds of cities around the globe, they have to have lights on the front and the rear of the vehicles that are on throughout that rental period," he explained. "They have audible warning systems for people that maybe are visually impaired, they have first ride policies, which means that new users are required to take an e-learning safety course riders can only be over the age of 18." He said they users also need a driving licence, and that the scooters have "GPS tracking monitors on them, so they can see when when riders are riding on the on the pavement or behaving in a kind of inappropriate manner. And then they run a three strike policy, which could lead to suspension."
But on top of the safety issues, how do you brand an e-scooter to make it attractive to people to use, and where will the trials go? Hear some answers in the interview.
You can also hear why the Highways Heroes awards wins this week's "Adrians Accolade" and hear Highways News owners Paul Hutton and Adrian Tatum discuss this week's news.