Voi unveils first ‘pollution sensing’ e-scooter

Voi Technology has unveiled the Voiager 4 (V4), an e-scooter that can measure air quality as it travels through urban areas.

The V4 has been designed to contribute to lowering traffic congestion and fuels, as well as helping cities to collect data on the improvements. It will be introduced to select UK markets this spring, with broader rollout later in 2021.

The latest e-scooter model also offers new safety features, including audible alarms and indicators, designed to increase the visibility of e-scooters to pedestrians and to vulnerable road users, including those with vision impairments.

The V4 is also designed to integrate better with public transport systems and now features the ability to be unlocked via contactless NFC (Near Field Communication) technology with the tap of a smartphone, smartwatch, or transport card. This means that it could be used in conjunction with an Oyster card.

Voi has also stepped up its commitment to rider safety with its latest model, as part of its Vision Zero pledge to work towards transport without fatalities or serious injuries. The key safety features include:

– Turn indicators that give 360-degree visibility and ensure riders are able to communicate their intended manoeuvres safely to other road users

– A reinforced fender, improved hydraulic suspension and large, higher-quality tyres that increase shock absorption and ease impact from cobblestones and potholes

– All-weather capabilities and even the ability to withstand submersion in water up to a depth of 1 metre 30 centimetres, thanks to the IPX7 rating* of its electronic enclosures

– All-new IoT (Internet of Things) hardware, designed in house, which enables a range of safety and operational innovations, including high-accuracy positioning

– Sub-one metre location accuracy to enhance navigation, improve geofencing for park/ ride zones and ensure that visibility on the app is always accurate

Fredrik Hjelm, CEO and co-founder of Voi, said: “From beating traffic to protecting the environment, Voi has always been focused on providing the best experiences, benefits, and services to our riders and partner cities.

“The Voiager 4 is our greatest, most exciting e-scooter to date and represents a culmination of years of research and development. Its combination of all-new hardware and software, especially our proprietary IoT technology, takes e-scooters to the next level.”

Richard Corbett, regional general manager UK, Ireland and Benelux at Voi Technology, added: “As we continue to strengthen our market position in the UK, we are thrilled to bring the Voiager 4 to our partner cities and growing customer base. We know that our communities require greener, convenient transport to replace shorter-distance car trips and reduce congestion.

“The new features, designed in-house, will bring superlative overall performance in safety, efficiency, and sustainability to help our communities meet their transportation needs.”

With a lifespan of five-plus years, the V4 is designed for frequent urban use and the technology has been developed to deliver superior operational efficiency.

The intelligent system on the e-scooter conducts automatic diagnostic checks that predict the need for maintenance or repairs, identifying 55 unique error conditions, which, if triggered, make the scooter unavailable to hire and alert the operational team.

The V4 also includes a dedicated slot for extra sensor devices, expanding the IoT’s future capabilities.

To improve location accuracy, the IoT compensates for lost or degraded GNSS satellite signals in three ways.

The IoT uses dual-band GNSS (L1 and L5 bands); comparing and averaging the two signals minimises positioning errors, since each signal can be affected differently by urban features such as tall buildings or trees, or by atmospheric disruptions. It also accesses corrections from EGNOS, provided by the European space agency.

When GNSS-only positioning is difficult or impossible, the IoT combines information from various sensors (gyro sensor, accelerometer, scooter speed) to calculate the scooter’s current position.

Additional key V4 features include:

– Widened, all-weather, solid (not air-filled) honeycomb 10in tyres and hydraulic front suspension provide unrivalled grip, brake effectiveness, and shock absorption on all road surfaces

– Antimicrobial handlebars facilitate safe shared use and prevent the spread of viruses (including COVID-19) by inactivating them on contact

– Onboard Bluetooth technology communicates with iBeacons at Voi parking racks to ensure scooters are parked with sub-centimetre accuracy

– Acoustic vehicle alert system (AVAS) notifies pedestrians of an oncoming scooter, especially beneficial to visually impaired and vulnerable road users

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