Urban Sharing launches Fornebu initiative to assess the challenges around electric scooters
This week, Urban Sharing launches Fornebu Scooters to better understand how to overcome the challenges which can frustrate electric scooter-sharing schemes, cities, and the people who live in them. Recent developments have highlighted the need to find solutions that allow for a safe and organized approach to scooter-sharing.
Electric scooters arrived in Oslo over the summer, and with them came the same cool factor and hurdles seen in scooter schemes around the world. Known for short life cycles and disrupting urban order, scooters present a new and challenging development.
There’s a lot to learn and improve. Through a “learn quickly, fail fast” mindset, Urban Sharing’s hope is to help create a long-lasting, sustainable solution for scooters in the micromobility world.
“After witnessing a number of free flow schemes in Oslo and elsewhere, we believe the first step to meeting the scooter challenge is to institute a more ordered and regulated setup”, says Heidi Aars, project manager for the Fornebu Scooter pilot. “Urban Sharing’s strengths lie in powering thoughtful, data-driven micromobility schemes. We hope the next few months will provide a significant amount of fruitful data that will inform our approach to scooters for years to come.”
The pilot will stand out from other schemes in Oslo through its use of stations, both physical and geofenced. Scooters have historically been prone to abandonment in the middle of pathways, vandalism, theft, and loss. We expect that a station-based approach can address this vulnerability.
A station-based scheme should also allow our maintenance team to repair the scooters quickly, and keep the scooters more organized and upright. We believe this could significantly extend the lifetime of a scooter fleet.
Through this pilot, we hope to gather data around the ideal placement of scooter stations, the logistics around maintaining an optimally charged fleet, and, ultimately, how to sustainably scale the service to the unique needs of a city. Our current rebalancing operations will serve as a framework for our research.
As with other schemes running on our platform, everything we learn from this pilot will be published in the public domain. We see every player and city involved in e-scooters as a potential partner, and we place a lot of value on making our data available for anyone who could find it useful.
Along with the scooter pilot, Urban Sharing will continue its cargo bike pilot, moving the bikes from the Oslo city center to Fornebu. Users will be able to rent cargo bikes to and from the same station.
Through integrating Urban Sharing’s platform into e-scooters and using it to power a hybrid docked approach, we believe it’s possible to overcome the many challenges currently faced by the electric scooter industry. This pilot is our chance to find out.