Tier and Free Now have joined forces to launch an ‘anti-drink-riding’ feature as the new e-scooter rental trial begins in the capital.
Londoners will now be able to use Free Now to hire e-scooters as well as taxis via the ride-hailing app for the first time as part of Free Now and Tier’s strategic global partnership.
Launched ahead of the Government’s provisional lockdown-lifting date of 21st June, it comes as it’s revealed that nearly two-thirds (65%) of Brits think they’d benefit from viewing pre-riding safety content, whilst 72% agree that a specific drink-driving in-app alert would ease their concerns about people riding under the influence.
As part of the new feature, active between 9pm and 4am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, anyone attempting to use a Tier e-scooter will be asked whether they have been drinking alcohol. If they respond “yes”, they will be told not to use the e-scooter, and an in-app notification will direct them to book a taxi via the Free Now app – which will be offering both taxi and e-scooter hire for the first time in the capital.
Research commissioned by Free Now has shown that nearly half (49%) of London residents hope to take advantage of the capital’s e-scooter trial, which launched on 7th June.
Mariusz Zabrocki, general manager at Free Now, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Tier as one of the operators bringing rental e-scooters to the capital, and together we are laser-focused on bolstering the safety of riders and others, through the provision of in-app measures such as the drink riding alert.
“Alongside the other safety measures put in place for e-scooter users, we hope that people will be reassured to know that riders who have consumed alcohol will be swiftly prompted to book a taxi with us, with a safe journey home available at the touch of a button.”
The drink-riding strategy follows Tier introducing its Safety Pricing. The feature, which doesn’t charge riders when vehicles are stationary during trips, aims to discourage a reckless approach to riding and prevent behaviour such as mounting a pavement to bypass traffic lights.
Fred Jones, VP and regional general manager, Northern Europe at Tier, said: “Ensuring the safety of our riders, other road users, and members of the public is our top priority. Whilst we recognise that we can’t completely eliminate drink riding and we’re confident that the vast majority of Tier riders will know to use our vehicles responsibly, we will continue to offer new features and solutions which promote safe and sensible riding.
“We will be applying all of the experience and know-how we’ve gained from operating in over 100 cities across Europe to make Tier e-scooters a huge success in the capital.”