European micromobility operator Dott has announced a multi-pronged approach to making e-scooters more accessible to those with disabilities. Earlier this month, the company launched its scooters in London, following a successful tender win. Dott is supporting those with disabilities with initiatives such as sensor technology, rider-facing training, smart parking technology and sound detection.
Dott recently launched a pavement detection trial with cycling tech and data experts See.Sense. The pavement detection technology uses state-of-the-art sensor technology to identify changes in road surfaces and erratic riding. This unique trial makes it possible to protect the safety of its users and ensures that Dott riders adhere to the rules of the road.
As part of the trial, Dott is integrating See.Sense devices, containing advanced sensor and communications technology, to a selection of Dott e-scooters in London with three core aims. The first is to identify areas around the city where extreme braking/swerving may be indicative of potential collision areas. This data will be fed back to key city stakeholders and TfL, to take proactive action to redesign infrastructure before incidents occur. The second is pavement detection through monitoring changes in road surface. The third aim is to identify trends in reckless riding. If a rider is behaving abnormally, an alert can be sent to the rider as a warning. This data will also be shared with city authorities and the Met police to identify core locations and times of these events, to identify riding trends.
Rider-facing training initiative
In line with its London launch, Dott released its incentivized safety program ‘Smooth rider club’, allowing riders to earn points towards discounted rides for completing their online or in-location rider safety courses. The program educates riders on the rules of the road and how to safely operate an e-scooter specifically in relation to other road users and pedestrians. The online course, created in partnership with The AA’s Drive Tech, can be taken here. Dott also runs monthly in-person training at various London locations. The event is free to sign up and each rider leaves with a Dott safety pack, including helmet, reflective arm band and other Dott goodies.
Smart parking technology
In other European markets, Dott has over 97% parking compliance amongst riders. This is due to their established ‘safe parking’ feature that partners built in GPS location technology with photo enforcement, to ensure vehicles are parked correctly in designated parking bays. Educating riders within the app, giving them clear directions on how to ride and park. On the off chance that a scooter is left outside of a parking zone the rider will be fined with a relocation fee and a prompt will be sent to Dott’s street teams to pick up and repark the scooter in a safe location (within three hours).
Dott recently funded a research program with the University of Salford on audible detection, in partnership with the RNIB. This research project aims to create a distinctive sound that can be easily recognised by people with visual impairments. Deliverables will include a digital sound file to embed into Dott e-scooters, Ethics approval for Lab Study to determine (perception and noticeability). First sound files, created and tested in lab conditions will be completed by the end of July and will be deployable for further testing in London later this summer.
“Safety is non-negotiable for riders and non-riders alike,” states Dott’s UK general manager, Duncan Robertson. Dott has been dedicated to a responsible transport approach from the very beginning.”