E-scooters in Liverpool are expected to introduce artificial noise after concerns about the exposure to pedestrians, especially the visually impaired and the blind, were raised.
Voi, the operator of the electric scooters used in Liverpool’s year-long test, said the machines emit a “low hum” to warn other road users that an electric scooter was approaching.
The sound is similar to the artificial engine sound used in electric cars.
ECHO has already reported on near misses with e-scooter drivers and the visually impaired.
Voi will add the sound to 60 e-scooters in its three largest cities where the test is taking place – Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol.
Adding sounds to scooters is part of a broader collaboration with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to understand the needs of blind and visually impaired pedestrians during e-scooter tests.
The data from the pilot areas will be shared with the local authorities and the Ministry of Transport.
Jack Samler, General Manager at Voi UK and Ireland, said: “Electric motors in e-scooters, like those in electric cars and buses, are extremely quiet, which can unsettle other road users.
“By adding a suitable sound, we can hopefully improve the safety of our operations for all road users, including those at risk from vision loss.
“This is the latest pilot project as part of our partnership with the RNIB to address mobility issues for blind and visually impaired people. We look forward to testing the new sound in the west of England, Birmingham and Liverpool and evaluating its impact has been evaluating during the processes. ”