Ireland launches first e-scooter trial

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Ireland launched its first e-scooter trial on Tuesday across the five campuses of Dublin City University, with it set to run until next year.

The research pilot will involve the collaboration of leading shared e-scooter operator TIER, Irish micromobility tech platform Luna, the Insight SFI Research Centre For Data Analytics, and Smart DCU.

The trial comes in parallel with moves to make e-scooters street-legal across Ireland.

As part of the project, TIER and Luna are equipping a fleet of 30 scooters with advanced computer vision technology, with DCU-based researchers provided access to the data generated.

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 both 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 also explore 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.

The UK is currently running a shared e-scooter trial across the country to determine the feasibility of the mode of transport, while private and shared e-scooters are legal across much of Europe.

TIER is one of a number of operators involved in the UK trials, and has a presence in 120 cities across 13 countries in Europe and the Middle East.

Speaking at the launch of this world-first industry-academic collaboration, Minister Hildegarde Naughton TD, said: “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.

“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.”

“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.”

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