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Bolt introduces tandem riding prevention system

Posted: 4 January 2022 | | No comments yet

Bolt’s in-house designed tandem riding prevention system is an in-app functionality aimed at detecting tandem riding and discouraging it.

Bolt scooters

Credit: Bolt

Bolt, the European scooter operator, has become the first company in the world to introduce a tandem riding prevention system and is on its way to obtaining a patent for the feature from the European Patent Office after its submission was accepted.

In a move to drastically improve industry safety standards, Bolt is also rolling out its cognitive reaction test, aimed at helping to prevent intoxicated riding, and is testing a skid braking prevention system. All the features are designed in-house by Bolt’s engineers.

Tandem riding is the activity in which a scooter is being ridden by more than one person. Riding a scooter designed for one rider with an additional person is a frequent cause of accidents. Many cities have regulations against it, and most scooter operators have rules and conditions prohibiting this unsafe behavior. However, Bolt is the first operator to actually design an in-app functionality aimed at detecting tandem riding and discouraging it. The tandem riding prevention system is a truly revolutionary development, as it tackles one of the most recurrent safety issues in the scooter industry.

“We are more than a micro-mobility provider. We want to be partners for cities and communities. This is why we have decided to take on the most pressing safety challenges in the scooter industry: tandem riding, drunk riding and skidding. Being taken under consideration for a patent on our tandem riding prevention system is a clear sign that we are on the right path. It also shows that we are leading our industry’s efforts for making scooters safer,” said Dmitri Pivovarov, Vice President for Rentals at Bolt.

The system is based on the Bolt 4 scooter’s in-built accelerometer, which was initially designed to measure the scooter’s acceleration rate. Bolt’s engineers are using the same hardware to detect sudden changes in mass, which is a clear sign that there are several people on one scooter. In this case, the user receives a push notification on their app. Bolt is being considered for a patent for this feature by the European Patent Office and, if the patent is awarded, it will be valid in 154 countries. 

The tandem riding prevention system is part of a wider safety features package, which also includes a cognitive reaction test and a skid braking prevention system. 

The cognitive reaction test is an in-app feature that aims to evaluate if a client is sober and therefore fit to ride a scooter. As part of the test, during specific timeframes, Bolt users are requested to react to a number of on-screen instructions, before being allowed to go on a scooter ride. The feature has already been rolled out in 14 European cities, and Bolt is looking to expand the coverage.  

The skid braking prevention system is designed to detect reckless behavior, such as fast riding or drifting. The system detects rapid braking resulting in the back wheel of a scooter getting locked. When such an event occurs, clients are warned against the dangerous behavior through an in-app push notification. The feature is currently being tested in Berlin with promising results. 

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