WMG expert contributes to Micromobility Whitepaper
WMG’s Head of Human Factors for Future Mobility, Dr Roger Woodman, has shared his expertise in a whitepaper entitled ‘Navigating new technologies and the safety and business risks.’
The whitepaper, produced by DriveTech UK, from The AA, the world leader in fleet risk and driver safety management; including driver training, aims to inform businesses about the challenges and risks of micromobility, as well as their corporate obligations.
Dr Roger Woodman explains: “It’s highly likely that rental and private e-scooters will be legalised in the next year or so. Undoubtedly there will be restrictions on these vehicles for both speed and weight. Rental e-scooters will be relatively easy to maintain control of, and from what I have witnessed, the trials have been broadly successful.
“However, the legalisation of private e-scooters is where issues will arise and will quickly become a big social and safety problem if certain things aren’t considered. The most important of which is people will modify e-scooters to make them go faster.
“Consequently, we need to introduce rules similar to car and motorbike ownership, which makes people more aware that they are responsible for what they do with the vehicle and importantly there is a link between them, the vehicle and law enforcement. Psychologically this is very important and is one of the reasons the e-scooter rental trial has made it a requirement that riders must have at least a provisional driving license.
“I believe we need several legal rules imposed with the legalisation of private e-scooters. Firstly, all private e-scooters (including rental), should require a registration plate. Secondly, e-scooters should be taxed and insured in the same way as motorbikes. This requirement greatly reduces the number of people who can own and operate an e-scooter, and I expect this will be dropped for both rental and privately owned e-scooters. However, there will be greater emphasis put on training, which will include safe riding and the Highway Code.”
Read the report in full here: DriveTech-E-Scooter-White-Paper.pdf
WMG is in the process of creating a Micromobility Roadmap, in consultation with users and industry, which will be made public later this year. Read more about WMG’s Intelligent Vehicles research here: Intelligent vehicles (warwick.ac.uk)