Are you tentative about taking that first step onto an e-scooter? Not quite ready for life in the fast lane (well, in the 20 km/h lane, since that’s the maximum speed in most countries)? Worried that you might land flat on your face or lose control of your e-scooter?
These are all natural reactions to a new mode of transportation. Based on our user surveys, one of the biggest hurdles to e-scooter adoption, especially among women and people in the 30+ age bracket, is concerns around speed and safety. At Voi, we want our users to feel comfortable riding a scooter. Comfortable, confident riding creates a safer experience everyone —not just for Voi e-scooter users, but for others who share the road.
Voi really believes that e-scooters should be for everyone. We want to create a safe, inclusive experience.
That’s why we created Beginner’s mode. As the name suggests, Beginner’s mode is an in-app feature enabling users to reduce the maximum speed of their scooter. Once the user activates the Beginner’s mode setting in their user profile, the scooters they ride will travel at a reduced speed of 15 km/h instead of the maximum speed set in their city. By enabling novice riders to practice riding scooters at a reduced speed, we hope to build riders’ self-assurance on the scooter and help to prevent accidents.
“With Beginner’s mode, we want to make sure that people feel safe riding our scooters, especially when they’re just starting out,” said Kristoffer Nolgren, Voi’s product manager. “Voi really believes that e-scooters should be for everyone. We want to create a safe, inclusive experience.”
Beginner’s mode took effect in all cities on 28 September 2020. Safety is Voi’s number-one priority, and Beginner’s mode is just one part of our larger safety strategy, which also encompasses:
- RideLikeVoila —the world’s first digital traffic school for e-scooter users (over 500,000 people have already participated)
- In-app reaction test to reduce drunk riding
- Automatic maximum speed of 20km/h on Voi’s vehicles (unlike private scooters, which easily reach double that speed)
- Slow Speed Zones where electric scooters are automatically decelerated to walking speed
- Parking Zones where users are rewarded with a discount for parking safely
- No Parking Zones (in green spaces, near water, pedestrian areas), where it is not possible for riders to end their journey
- Physical parking racks (designed, produced and financed by Voi) that have been placed in some regions in collaboration with cities or property owners
- On-the-ground ambassadors and street patrols that educate riders on safety and retrieve incorrectly parked e-scooters
- Financing protective equipment for non-profit diving organisations that can help to clean up e-scooter debris in waterways