Good news for Irish e-scooter fans, if they don’t mind waiting

1 Jul 2021

Image: © teksomolika/Stock.adobe.com

E-scooters will be safer for the visually impaired and other road users in Dublin once e-scooter legislation is passed, thanks to new smart technologies.

As the Irish Government continue to discuss Ireland’s long-awaited e-scooter legislation, European micromobility operator Dott has announced plans to improve its e-scooter products for visually impaired road users.

The manufacturer’s announcement is part of a wider expansion plan, which includes its intention to enter the Irish market as soon as required legislation is in place to regulate the use of e-scooters on Irish roads.

Yesterday (30 June) Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, TD, appeared before the Oireachtas Transport Committee to discuss the pre-legislative Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2019, but this yielded little new developments. In Ryan’s opening statement, he said the Bill would more than likely not be ready for debate until the autumn.

Undeterred, Dott has been engaging with local and national stakeholders in Ireland on a variety of issues relating to e-scooters, with a particular focus on safety. Dott has also established an Irish Safety Advisory Board with representatives from the Irish Wheelchair Association, the National Council for the Blind, Dublin Town and the Irish Transport Research Network.

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Duncan Robertson, general manager of Dott in Ireland and the UK, said: “From talking to local stakeholders in Dublin, we know that safety remains a key concern, particularly for the visually impaired and vulnerable road users.”

Robertson added that the new technology, developed with Northern Irish company See.Sense would mean e-scooters would be safe to use for all road users.

See.Sense uses patented, proprietary sensor fusion technology and AI to generate data insights to improve the safety and experience of the rider. The company has been recognised with multiple innovation and smart city awards, and its small team works with some of the world’s leading smart cities on their transport safety strategies.

Features like footpath detection technology will make it easier for vulnerable road users to travel using e-scooters. The vehicles will also be embedded with distinctive sounds for the visually impaired. And smart parking tech, such as built-in GPS technology and photo verification will enable the e-scooters to park correctly in dedicated bays.

Despite delays with e-scooter legislation, several other e-scooter companies are already preparing for launch once the Bill is introduced, including ZeusZippDott and Bleeper.

Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic

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