Author: Dimitri Pivovarov, Vice President of Rentals at Bolt
At Bolt, our mission is to help build cities for people, not cars, by providing more affordable and environmentally friendly shared mobility alternatives for all city trips. Scooters and e-bikes are a perfect alternative to cars for shorter inner city journeys, which is why since launching our first scooter rental service in 2018, we have invested significantly in expanding the service.
Today we have more than 10 million scooter users in more than 200 cities and 22 countries, and just last month we announced that we were investing €150 million into further expansion.
As our growth continues, we have no greater priority than ensuring those using our scooters do so in a safe and responsible way. That’s why we were hugely encouraged with the results of our new scooter safety report which showed that despite roughly 400% growth in rides between 2020 and 2021, we have recorded a 26% lower injury rate over the same period. Additionally, the number of accidents per million kilometres reduced by 12% in 2021 compared to 2020.
The decrease in injury and accident ratio is a result of implementing software and hardware safety features, specifically designed to protect riders and pedestrians. We have a live in-app cognitive reaction test discouraging intoxicated scooter and e-bike riding, and we have launched our patent pending tandem riding prevention technology in a number of cities across Europe, thus aiming to stop the unsafe practice of two users riding the same scooter. We’ve also put a lot of development effort into a skid braking detection system.
While hardware and software features are important, they can’t do much in isolation. That’s why we take a multi-layered approach to safety. Bolt has been awarded the ISO45001 for Safety Management Systems, an official recognition of the fact that our company operates with standard global safety procedures that improve safety for all the products under the Bolt brand. The certification is also a guarantee that we design and maintain our scooters, e-bikes and shared cars to an international standard that ensures safety of operations. Additionally, we closely collaborate with cities to understand risk areas and how our micromobility solutions can be seamlessly incorporated into a city’s ecosystem.
Educating our customers on what constitutes potentially risky behaviour helps build up understanding for those who may be new to using scooters. We have launched an educational safety toolkit available to all scooter riders via our website. We were also the first company to introduce beginner mode, a feature that limits the speed of a scooter to 15 km/h until the rider feels comfortable enough to ride at full speed.
Safety is an ongoing project and there will always be room for more improvement and innovation. As our user base is getting wider and we are present in more cities, we get both the data and the feedback necessary to build efficient solutions that actually answer real life needs.