Irish micromobility operator Zipp Mobility has announced a partnership with sustainability-focused research body UCD Energy Institute.
Designed to aid the development of accessory technologies that will help make e-scooters safer in urban environments, the partnership is being supported through funding from Zipp and Enterprise Ireland.
Working from the UCD Energy Institute’s IELab, a team from the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering will undertake practical prototyping work on Zipp e-scooters.
The e-scooters will be upgraded with smart noisemaking and lighting features that help ensure that they can be seen and heard more clearly by pedestrians.
Zipp currently runs shared e-scooter schemes in the UK and Poland, and plans to launch in Irish cities including Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford next year, in addition to expanding its operations into Portugal and Spain.
Zipp has raised €2.1 million from investors since its establishment in 2019, with CEO and founder Charlie Gleeson welcoming the latest partnership.
“We are delighted to be partnering with the UCD Energy Institute on this research collaboration,” he said.
“Zipp’s mission is ‘mobility done right’ and having world-class technology that prioritises safety is a cornerstone of our approach. When we launch our service in Ireland next year, we want it to be as safe as possible and this research follows on from feedback received from our existing customers in the UK and Poland. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to safety and our commitment to R&D activities in Ireland.”
Dr Paul Cuffe, UCD Energy Institute, added, “E-scooters are a fun and practical mode of sustainable transport, and I’m delighted to see how popular they’re becoming in cities around the world. With this growing popularity, though, we need to ensure that they’re safe for all users of city streets.
“Electric scooters can be rather quiet and inconspicuous, and pedestrians may not always be aware that they are approaching. In this research collaboration, we will work with Zipp to upgrade their e-scooters with smart noisemaking and lighting features, so they are visually and audibly more noticeable.”