Leading shared micromobility firm Voi says that its e-bike and e-scooter users have recorded just 5.45 major and severe accidents per million kilometres ridden – and outlined how it is aiming to use new technology to cut that rate further.
The Swedish firm, which operates rental e-scooter and e-bike schemes in UK cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge and Liverpool, released the data in its second Safety Report, which outlines the steps it is taking to achieve its target of zero severe injuries by 2030.
The figure of 5.45 major and severe accidents per million kilometres ridden is based on Voi user data from more than 120 million rides between January 2021 until December 2022 across 11 countries that the firm operates in.
Vois’s data does have some caveats, with the firm noting that it relies on users self-reporting accidents. The total does not include minor injuries: Voi notes that there is no universal standard for gathering micromobility accident data and, as with private cycling, there are concerns about underreporting of accidents.
Voi does cite a number of studies that show the risk of e-scooter accidents is decreasing as users become accustomed to the machines and safety features improve.
Christy Pearson, Voi’s head of central policy, said: “To properly evaluate the safety of shared e-scooters, it’s necessary to improve public accident data collection from hospitals and the police. This data should be compared with industry-wide trip data to understand how the accident risk is developing.”
Pearson added that looking at the absolute number of e-scooter accidents was “misleading” due to the massive growth in the usage of both shared and private machines, adding that Voi is calling “for more public-private data exchange on accident statistics to drive data-driven decision-making.”
Voi is focusing on three key areas to reduce the risk of accidents: vehicle and equipment safety, promoting safe behaviour and developing a safe environment.
The vehicle and equipment safety covers both the design of rental e-bike and e-scooters and ensuring that they are well-maintained and durable. The firm is also working to use sensor technology to gain further data on how riders use machines, to identify the root cause of accidents.
As with other micromobility firms, Voi is investing in a range of rider education programmes to promote safer behaviour, and is also using technology to clampdown on irresponsible behaviour, such as multiple people riding on a single e-scooter, or riding machines on the pavement.
Finally, Voi says it is engaging with cities and communities to promote improve infrastructure for bikes and micromobility vehicles, including by supplying geolocation data showing zones with high numbers of accidents. It has also vowed further efforts to clampdown on incorrectly parked vehicles.