Every year, thousands of individuals across the country, pedestrians and riders alike, end up in the emergency room with e-scooter related injuries. Last week, Bird announced the launch of its new https://mashable.com/article/bird-scooter-slow-down-community-safety-zones feature. Ultimately, this should slow down e-scooter riders in busy pedestrian areas.
The Community Safety Zones are geofenced areas of high pedestrian activity. They are marked on the app’s map. If you’re riding in one of the zones, the speed is automatically reduced to a maximum of eight miles per hour. Riders also get a notification explaining why their speed has been reduced.
This feature has been deemed “much-needed,” following a study noting the dangers of riding e-scooters for riders and pedestrians. In terms of top speeds, Bird Air scooters can travel up to 16 miles per hour, and Bird One scooters can travel up to 18 miles per hour.
Community Safety Zones will start in Miami, Marseille, and Madrid. The company plans to expand to the other 250 cities where Bird is available. The rollout plans to focus on pedestrian-heavy areas like schools and hospitals. There are plans to expand to locations like parks and shopping centers in the future.
In an interview about the new safety feature, Jenn Fox of the Vision Zero Network, said, “Micromobility is an evolving industry. As cities work to integrate this popular personal transportation mode, we should also make use of safety features. Bird’s Safe Start and Community Safety Zones are an example of technology initiatives that can support safe systems, respond to community concerns, and solve mobility challenges at the same time.”
The Community Safety Zones is not the only safety feature the company is rolling out. Bird is also featuring a Safety Start feature to reduce the instances of riding under the influence and a skid detection system to detect hazardous riders.
Bird and the other most popular e-scooter companies, including Lime and Spin, are also releasing online riding safety tutorials. However, it’s unclear if riders are actually using them.
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