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Ford-owned e-scooter firm Spin is living up to its commitment to empower riders with the freedom to move safely around their community with the launch of a new £100,000 Micromobility Research Fund in the UK.

Over the next 12 months, the fund will support top researchers from ten leading universities in the UK and U.S. and a number of mobility experts from organisations in the international mobility ecosystem. They will study various safety aspects of e-scooter use as well as rider travel behaviour and the challenges and opportunities of the integration of e-scooters within a city’s road systems and existing public transport networks.

“The willingness to share independent research and learnings about the adoption of e-scooters with key stakeholders has become less of a priority for operators and this needs to change. Spin is committed to improving and advancing micromobility policy frameworks globally in the markets we operate in,” ” said Josh Johnson, Public Policy Manager at Spin.

“These studies will give everyone fresh and actionable insights. We look forward to sharing best practices with stakeholders in the UK and beyond around how to best integrate e-scooters into local transport networks while maximising safety of all road users and provide communities with a green, fun and socially-distanced way to travel.”

Preparation for the first piece of research is underway in Milton Keynes, with the potential to extend it to other cities, including London once the e-scooter trial kicks off in the capital. 

The study will be informed by a diverse set of data sources including qualitative and quantitative consumer survey data and on-street AI and IoT sensor data of e-scooter interactions with pedestrians, cyclists and cars captured by Vivacity Lab’s sensors that are installed in the city. The researchers will have access to anonymised e-scooter movement data (GPS) as well.

“Milton Keynes has been a leader in transport innovation for some time, and we are delighted that the first piece of independent research supported by the Micromobility Research Fund will be taking place here, with leading academics and cutting-edge industry partners,” said Brian Matthews, Head of Transport Innovation, Milton Keynes Council.

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