Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

E-Scooter Safety Assessment and Campus Deployment Planning



E-Scooters are a popular new service that provide last mile transportation, and can potentially replace car trips and potentially make transit more palatable, but there are reports of safety concerns for riders and other users of rights of way in areas where e-scooters are already deployed. Very little formal research has been conducted on the safety of this form of transportation as well as the optimal approach to deployment to decrease nuisance issues. As such, VTTI will team with Spin to deploy a fleet of e-scooters on the Virginia Tech campus through an exclusive, controlled research program. VTTI will add a data acquisition system to a subset of scooters that will collect data to assess safety impact, what behaviors are exhibited that may be beneficial or problematic, and ways in which kinematic and/or other data may be used to predict risky behavior and develop subsequent countermeasures. In addition, fixed cameras will be deployed to evaluate a variety of behavioral measures through a classification system that will be developed as part of the project. The resulting data will be used to assess impacts on safety, nuisance, and mobility, identify unique countermeasures to problems associated with e-scooter deployments where possible, and generate deployment requirements and guidelines for future open competition.

Project Highlights

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Final Report

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EWD & T2 Products

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Research Investigators (PI*)

Mike Mollenhauer (VTTI/VT)*
Elizabeth White (VTTI/VT)
Sarah Robinson (VTTI/VT)
Will Vaughan (VTTI/VT)
Adam Novotny (Student-VTTI/VT)
Ipek Sener (TTI)
Yunlong Zhang (TAMU)
Pranik Koirala (TTI/TAMU)

Project Information

Start Date: 2019-06-03
End Date: 2023-01-31
Status: Active
Grant Number: 69A3551747115
Total Funding: $467,126
Source Organization: Safe-D National UTC
Project Number: VTTI-00-023

Safe-D Theme Areas

Transportation as a Service
Big Data Analytics

Safe-D Application Areas

Vulnerable Users
Performance Measures
Planning for Safety
Operations and Design

More Information

UTC Project Information Form

Sponsor Organization

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
University Transportation Centers Program
Department of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590 United States

Performing Organization

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
3500 Transportation Research Plaza
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061