E-scooters could all be given the same distinctive artificial sound to warn people when they are approaching, after engineers and rival operators announced a joint research project to identify the best noise for them to make.

The sound will be developed at the laboratories at UCL PEARL, with input from the three licensed operators in London: Dott, Lime and Tier. The multinational operators want to give all their e-scooters the same sound, and hope to set an industry standard for the UK and around the world. Researchers are aiming for the new sound to be sufficiently distinctive and audible to alert those with sight loss, while not creating further difficulty for those with hearing loss and neurodiverse conditions.

University College London’s Prof Nick Tyler, the director of PEARL, said: “Through studying how the human hearing system has evolved, we can create sounds for e-scooters that are detectable without adding more noise to the environment. It is a huge scientific challenge, but one that will enable everyone to feel comfortable with this new form of micromobility that is quickly growing in popularity.”

Read the full article by Gwyn Topham, Transport Correspondent here.

The Guardian | 28th January 2022