TRL launches new service for micromobility safety testing

World renowned transport consultancy TRL has launched a new service for testing powered micromobility solutions, assuring both the safety performance and handling of the technology in real-world settings.

Targeted at OEMs, operators and transport authorities, the fixed price service provides an independent report based on an assessment of the vehicle’s key performance and safety features.

Presently, micromobility vehicles such as e-scooters, hoverboards and e-skateboards are currently only legally permitted for use on private land. A key challenge in achieving their widespread rollout is ensuring that they can be safely integrated into the wider transport system.

On-road trials of shared e-scooters are underway across the country as part of the Department for Transport’s Future of Transport Regulatory Review. In these trial conditions, e-scooters are permitted on public roads and allowed to mix with other traffic, meaning it is essential that they perform in a safe and reliable manner.

George Beard, Head of New Mobility at TRL, explains: “To assist with ongoing real-world trials, TRL has designed a set of standardised tests which can be applied to a variety of powered micromobility solutions.

With years of experience in the design of safety tests and standards for a variety of European transport regulations under our belt, we can deliver an independent and technology-agnostic service to assess the safety of micromobility vehicles and provide assurance to transport authorities and end users.”

TRL’s standardised test methodology covers three key areas, though the approach can be tailored to meet specific client needs and vehicle specifications:

  1. Emergency brake testing to assess stopping distance and vehicle response under different conditions, ensuring the vehicle can be brought to a safe and controlled stop without endangering either the rider or other road users.
  2. Vehicle stability testing when traversing different surfaces and when user control may be compromised (e.g. making hand signals to turn), providing confidence that users are able to manoeuvre the vehicle effectively and safely.
  3. Geofencing testing is an optional extra used to assess operators’ ability to locate and control the e-scooters. For example, testing the responsiveness of automatic functions when entering ‘slow speed’ or ‘no ride’ zones.

For more information about the new service, click here.

About TRL

TRL is a global centre for innovation in transport and mobility. It provides world-leading research, technology and software solutions for surface transport modes and related markets engaged in intelligent, new mobility innovations.

Independent from government, industry and academia, TRL helps organisations create global transport systems that are safe, clean, affordable, liveable and efficient.

Established in 1933 within the British Government as the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory, TRL was subsequently privatised in 1996. Today, TRL has more than 1,000 clients across 145 countries, driving positive societal and economic benefit worldwide.

Core areas of expertise include infrastructure asset management & asset technologies; intelligent transport systems & traffic operations; sustainability & healthy mobility; vehicle safety engineering & technology research; major incident investigations; human factors safety & behavioural science.

TRL is strategically investing, producing disruptive research and delivering innovation linked to:

  • Connected & self-driving vehicles
  • Ultra-low emission technologies
  • Shared mobility services
  • Intelligent asset information
  • Big data, machine learning & artificial intelligence.

Headquartered in the UK, nearly 1/3rd of TRL’s business is with overseas organisations. Its international focus covers Europe, India, Africa & Middle East, plus wider Commonwealth countries, supported by strategic collaborations in North America and Asia Pacific. www.trl.co.uk

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