Universal Warning Sound for Electric Scooters. Will it Work?
You'll probably have noticed them gliding along the streets of your city, silent and unassuming. Quietly they sail by. Like something out of a Philip K Dick novel. They are the future. Well, that's probably a bit of an exaggeration. I'm talking about the popular electric scooters of course. The eco-friendly electric green machines you stand up on (mostly) to ride.
Whether you like them or not. Electric scooters are becoming more and more popular as a form of alternative personal electrical transport. City's across the UK and the rest of the World has taken on hire schemes. Proving to be extremely popular, it's an incredibly free way to tour a city, get to work, or just enjoy a ride. With a pay per ride or pay per mile scheme. They're easy to hire and fairly cheap to use.
People love them. Not just because they're easy to use but they're also eco-friendly and pretty green. Not a combustion engine to be seen. They feel more accessible than bikes. Electric or pedal. And are pretty popular with everyone. From the daily commuter to the savvy student. Everyone uses them to get around.
Are Electric Scooters Legal?
Currently, only the scooter scheme e-scooters are legal on the road in the UK. such as Voi Scooters in Liverpool. Private scooters are illegal and are only allowed on private land with permission from the owner. Owners of private scooters are hoping the laws will change as they have done in countries such as Germany, Spain, France, and Poland. Where private scooters are allowed on the roads and cycleways. Different laws for different countries. All in common to make it safe for pedestrians and riders.
With most of the rules set up for electric scooter riders on the roads and putting pedestrians first. They are having some success with private e-scooter riders across Europe.
The current rules for riding electric scooters in the UK are as follows:
- You can only ride privately owned Electric Scooters on Private Land with permission from the landowner
- With City Trials, you can only ride on the roads
- You must have a provisional or full driving license in using one of the rental schemes
- You don't need insurance currently with the city hire-schemes
One of the issues that electric scooters have, is that they're silent and quiet. Which is great in built-up areas at night. It beats a boy racer with an exhaust the size of a chimney stack. But being quiet is causing issues for the blind and visually impaired. They're just really quiet and hard to hear when approaching.
The proposal, starting with the hire scheme scooters is to create a universal warning sound for electric scooters.
What is an Electric Scooter?
Let's start with the basics. What actually is an electric scooter? Don't panic, I'm here to answer that question. Simply put, an electric scooter is a push-scooter that has a battery and motor fitted.
The battery powers the motor and the motor propels you along. They have brakes, tyres, handlebars, lights, and sometimes even app compatible. You generally stand up, although, some of them arrive with seats. You know, if you're feeling a little lazy or tired.
There is a huge range of models and options. With big brand names such as Aprilla, Ducati, and Jeep getting in on the action. They can be simple machines, such as the popular Xiaomi Mi Essential Electric Scooter with its 20 Km/h top speed and 20 Km range. Right through to the ridiculously fast Nanrobot LS7+ electric scooter. Its twin powerful 2400-watt motors gives this beast a top speed of 88+ km/h and a range of 100 Km. Outrageous!
Whatever e-scooter floats your boat. Or Scoots your boot? There is one that will fit your needs.
And as more sophisticated models are landing on the marketing, it would be great if privately owned ones could be used in and around the UK cities safely.
Universal Warning Sound
To help reduce accidents and address safety concerns, licensed hire operators Dott, Lime and Tier are working with UK acoustic engineers to come up with a universal warning sound. This is to help alert them to not only the blind but the general public and pedestrians. Even people with 20/20 vision don't always hear them as they glide through the streets.
This universal warning sound for electric scooters would be a welcoming addition to improving the safety of electric scooters on public roads and cycleways.
They're not just going to slap any noise on either. They're taking it to University College London’s laboratories to be developed. A particular noise that is universal but not intrusive. Recognisable and distinctive. This is good news. An easily known universal noise is an excellent idea for electric scooters. Reducing accidents and making electric scooters more vocal to the public.
Will this Help Privately Owned Electric scooters?
Privately owned electric scooters could be made more welcome on the roads. Reducing traffic, being eco-friendly, and allowing those of us that don't have a car to get around more easily. The hire schemes are proving popular.
So will this universal warning sound installed in hire e-scooters be helpful to privately owned electric scooters? It's a point in the right direction. The people's love for the electric scooter and other electric vehicles is growing and becoming more popular every day. This universal noise fitted to private electric scooters could tip them in the right direction to be become fully legalised on the UK's roads.
Alongside strict and fair riding laws, similar to those in other European countries, this sound could be the catalyst of many electric scooter improvements so that we see more scooters and fewer cars on our already busy roads.