The e-scooter company Voi has launched a new electric scooter equipped with smart sensors that measure noise and air quality as it’s being operated. In a blog post, Voi said, “We believe that we can offer cities more than just a transportation method – we can actually help them improve their environments and the health of their citizens.”
The Voiager 4 (V4) will allow Voi to pinpoint areas with high and low noise and air quality as data is collected. With the technology, the scooters can be tracked to see if they’ve been traveling or static. Sensors collect air quality by measuring different particles of various sizes in the air, including organic compounds and humidity levels. The noise sensors measure the level of sound around the vehicles in decibels.
Voi plans to share the data it collects with partner cities and researchers who want to use it for projects or strategies to build healthier cities. The V4 scooters will arrive in cities starting spring 2021. In addition to the noise and air quality sensors, the new electric scooters are equipped with audible alarms and indicators to increase visibility to vehicles and pedestrians, including vulnerable road users.
The Voiager 4 has a lifespan of approximately five years and a 35% increase in motor performance. It is designed for frequent urban use and has turn indicators, a reinforced fender, improved hydraulic suspension, and large tires. V4s have automatic diagnostic checks that predict the need for maintenance or repairs. The system can identify 55 unique error conditions, which, if triggered, instantly makes the scooter unavailable to hire and alert the operation team.
From a user perspective, the most impactful feature on the V4 is the turn indicators – as they have a direct safety impact. Typically, it’s different to indicate to traffic when you’re planning to turn on a scooter. This is because it’s harder to let go of the handlebars and signal with your hands than it is on a bike. Indicators will clearly show other road users an e-scooter rider’s intentions.