Ireland’s first e-scooter trial begins in Dublin City University campuses

Posted: 21 July 2021 | | No comments yet

The e-scooter pilot will enable researchers from Dublin City University (DCU) to analyse data and inform future e-scooter rollouts both in Dublin and throughout Ireland.

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Ireland’s first e-scooter trial has launched across the five campuses of Dublin City University. Launched by Minister Hildegarde Naughton, this e-scooter research pilot project will involve the collaboration of four organisations: e-scooter operator TIER, Irish micromobility tech platform Luna, the Insight SFI Research Centre For Data Analytics, and Smart DCU (a district of Smart Dublin). The trial comes in parallel with moves to make e-scooters street-legal across Ireland.

“Ireland is truly leading the way in the space of the use of e-scooters and I very much look forward to seeing this pilot get moving across DCU campuses,” said Minister Hildegarde Naughton TD.

“This is an interesting and exciting time in transport – the innovation and momentum is palpable here today. It is my job now and the job of Government to play our part and progress the necessary legislation required for the safe use of e-scooters in Ireland. I look forward to seeing this pilot progress across campus and I am particularly interested in learning of its outcomes and insights which I am certain will inform us in further progressing legislation in this space.”

The trial, which has commenced operation on DCU campuses – and will operate between campuses once legislation allows – aims to set the bar for e-scooter safety standards in Ireland and worldwide.

As part of the project, TIER and Luna are equipping a fleet of 30 scooters with advanced computer vision technology, allowing DCU-based Insight researchers to explore a new source of smart city data. With Luna technology, TIER e-scooters are capable of running pedestrian detection and lane segmentation algorithms, allowing the vehicles to understand how many people are in their path, as well as preventing vehicles from being used on footpaths.

In addition to being a world first academic-industry research project focused on computer vision in e-scooters, the pilot is also Ireland’s first major structured e-scooter trial. The purpose of the research project is to simultaneously improve e-scooter safety and to explore the Smart City possibilities associated with computer vision equipped micromobility vehicles and the valuable data they can generate on behalf of all stakeholders.

The pilot project will run until early 2022 and will also explore other insights, particularly around user behaviours and attitudes, which can feed into any commercial shared e-scooter schemes that may be launched in Dublin and elsewhere across Ireland in the future.

“This is such an important research pilot project for TIER in Ireland and we are excited to have launched this trial across the five campuses of Dublin City University,” added Fred Jones, TIER’s Regional General Manager for Northern Europe.

“It is an exciting opportunity for detailed research on smart city applications of e-scooters as well as modal shift, as we partner with Luna and Insight to help the University to reduce its carbon footprint and offer a more sustainable, safer first and last mile public transport solution. We hope to apply all project learnings to future TIER operations in Ireland.”