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UK council forms tech partnership to enhance e-scooter safety

Northamptonshire County Council is using the Vianova data platform to digitally design, implement and enforce more than 250 regulations for e-scooters deployed as part of trials across the county.

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Vianova platform illustrating regulations covering part of the Northampton trial area
Vianova platform illustrating regulations covering part of the Northampton trial area

Northamptonshire County Council is working with French tech company Vianova to enhance e-scooter safety and manage trials running across six towns in the UK county.

 

Vianova is a data platform that helps cities better integrate and manage shared, connected, electric and autonomous transport solutions in the urban space, enabling better use of city infrastructure, and promoting safer and more sustainable mobility.

 

Communicating regulations

 

The council launched an e-scooter trial with operator Voi Technology in September 2020. It is using the Vianova platform to digitally design, implement and enforce more than 250 regulations for e-scooters deployed across Northamptonshire. These regulations are communicated to Voi’s operations teams in real-time, allowing them to implement the necessary changes to their geofenced no ride, slow ride, incentivised parking and no parking zones based directly on the council’s request.

 

Through the platform, the county council has been directly involved in the design and implementation of an additional 100 no parking zones, 20 no riding zones, 10 low speed zones and 140 incentivised parking zones. These are designed to reduce the chance of incidents involving e-scooters around more sensitive sites, such as schools, care homes and highly pedestrianised areas.

 

This tech-enabled approach is the reportedly first to be rolled out in the UK, creating a roadmap for the 50-plus councils and regional authorities considering or managing e-scooter trials.

 

The Vianova platform means the council, Northamptonshire Police’ Safer Roads team and Voi Technology can communicate in real-time on key safety and compliance issues. Northamptonshire County Council will receive alerts regarding any vehicles that might be causing nuisance, such as by breaking parking regulations, directly through the Vianova platform and report them to e-scooter operator Voi, which can then swiftly troubleshoot any issues.

“Ultimately, it will benefit users, local communities and other stakeholders, and should help to inform some of the considerations on best-practice and guidelines for e-scooters operations in the UK”

This collaborative approach will help ensure riders and other road users’ safety, so the local community can have the best possible experience while the trial is in place. Northamptonshire e-scooter trial has already exceeded the 170,000 trips mark since its start and claims to be the largest currently operating in the UK.

 

“We are delighted to be working with Vianova and Voi on this new platform. Whilst still at pilot stage, the signs are very promising,” said Ian Achurch, head of economy and strategy, and the council’s lead for the e-scooter trial, which is part of a wider Smart Move Northamptonshire initiative. “The platform enables us to create regulations which can be implemented with a matter of minutes.”

 

“It provides the ability for us to track and evaluate compliance. With this we can develop better insights and understand how effective the regulations are, and where these need to be changed or tightened. Ultimately, it will benefit users, local communities and other stakeholders, and should help to inform some of the considerations on best-practice and guidelines for e-scooters operations in the UK.”

 

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