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Developing a universal sound to alert road users to e-scooters

28 January 2022

Experts at UCL’s Person-Environment-Activity Research Laboratory (PEARL) are working with London e-scooter operators to develop a universal sound to alert road-users of their approach.

Tier e-scooter

The team will work with e-scooter operators TIER, Lime and Dott, to create a sound that will help all road-users, particularly those with sight loss, hearing loss and neurodiverse conditions, to identify any rental e-scooter. After being developed and tested in London, the sound will be used in other cities around the UK and beyond.

The project, an industry first, will build on existing work by the three e-scooter operators. It follows engagement with disability experts and access consultants including Transport for All, the Thomas Pocklington Trust and the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

Professor Nick Tyler, Director, UCL PEARL, said: “This is an exciting project to work on to ensure that people with a range of different capabilities can know when an e-scooter is nearby and how it is moving, enabling them to comfortably and safely move around the urban environment.”

Following consultations, the sound will be developed and ethically tested at PEARL, where experts can create different city environments, before being tested on roads ahead of attaining an industry standard for roll out.

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