UCD to collaborate with Irish EV firm on e-scooter safety research project

6th October 2021 

Researchers from UCD’s Energy Institute will work with e-scooter company Zipp Mobility to create noisemaking and lighting safety features.

Electric scooter company Zipp Mobility is partnering with University College Dublin’s (UCD) Energy Institute to conduct research into e-scooter safety.

Zipp Mobility, which is already headquartered at UCD’s innovation centre NovaUCD, will partly fund the research along with Enterprise Ireland.

The researchers will develop tech accessories to make the e-scooters safer in urban environments. A team from the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering will use Zipp e-scooters as prototypes, upgrading them with noisemaking and lighting features to ensure they can be seen and heard more clearly.

Dr Paul Cuffe, UCD Energy Institute, said, “Electric scooters can be rather quiet and inconspicuous, and pedestrians may not always be aware that they are approaching. In this research collaboration we will work with Zipp to upgrade their e-scooters with smart noisemaking and lighting features, so they are visually and audibly more noticeable.”

Cuffe added that with the growing popularity of e-scooters in cities around the world, it was particularly necessary to ensure they would not endanger people.

Prof Andrew Keane, director, UCD Energy Institute said the research collaboration aligned strongly with the institute’s strategy to deliver research supporting a net zero energy system in 2050.

“Choice around low carbon modes of transport will play a big role in reducing emissions from energy use. This collaboration with Zipp strongly aligns with the UCD Energy Institute’s strategy to deliver research supporting a net zero energy system in 2050, with transport being an area of increasing focus,” Keane commented.

Zipp mobility plans to launch its service in Ireland next year. It has chosen several Irish cities to launch in including Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford. It also plans to begin operations in Portugal and Spain during 2022.

It has already rolled out its e-scooter services in the UK and Poland. The company’s founder Charlie Gleeson said he wanted the product to be “as safe as possible” ahead of its Irish launch.

He added that the company’s collaboration with UCD reaffirmed both its “commitment to safety” and its “commitment to R&D activities in Ireland.”

Source: Silicon Republic 

Image source: Vincent Hoban, UCD