E-Scooter Safety Assessment and Campus Deployment Planning
E-Scooters are a popular new service that provide last mile transportation, but there are reports of safety concerns for riders and impingement on other users of rights of way. Little formal research has been conducted on E-Scooter safety or the optimal approach to deployment to decrease nuisance issues. To address this, VTTI and Spin deployed a fleet of E-Scooters on the Virginia Tech campus through an exclusive, controlled research program. Through on-scooter data acquisition systems, fixed infrastructure cameras, anecdotal injury reports, and surveys, data was collected to assess safety impact as well as to understand beneficial and problematic user behaviors and patterns for subsequent countermeasure development and deployment recommendations. The resulting naturalistic dataset includes over 9,000 miles of riding data. Overall, the E-Scooter deployment on the Virginia Tech campus was safer than other reported deployments. The operational constraints that were put in place were largely effective, and with the additional results from this study, some additional constraints and expanded outreach programs may make future deployments even safer. The campus community largely considered the deployment of E-Scooters a clean alternative transportation option and viewed the service favorably.