Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Micromobility Committee
Chris Cherry (UTK) and John MacArthur (PSU) have chaired and vice-chaired the SAE Powered Micromobility Vehicle committee since 2018. This committee, composed of an array of experts from the public sector and micromobility industry, is charged with investigating and developing standards and procedures for vehicles that do not fall under traditional transportation guidelines or regulations, like shared scooters or other small vehicles. Our first standard, SAE J3194 was led by MacArthur and developed the first holistic and technology-neutral taxonomy and classification document for a wide range of micromobility vehicles. Specifically, vehicles that weigh less than 500 pounds and whose maximum speed is less than 30 miles per hour. That standard was followed by J3230 that defined kinematics and test procedures for standing scooters. We continue to develop standards that result in safe micromobility systems.
Transportation Research Board (TRB) Micromobility Joint Subcommittee
Chris Cherry (UTK), Geoff Rose (Monash) and John MacArthur (PSU) have chaired and co-chaired the TRB Micromobility Joint Subcommittee since its resurrection in 2009. Originally formed in response to the emergence of the Segway and the many policy questions related to that type of vehicle, the committee went dormant for several years until e-bikes began raising similar questions on safety and access. The recent micromobility growth has increased its scope. The Transportation Research Board is the premier research organization focused on transportation within the National Academies of Science. The joint subcommittee (sponsored bicycle, pedestrian, emerging transit technologies, and law enforcement committees) focuses research on micromobility modes in the transportation system, including all forms of personal and goods-oriented transportation. This subcommittee has sponsored workshops, calls for research papers, and conference sessions at the TRB Annual Meeting, in addition to writing successfully funded research statements on the role of micromobility in the transport system.
New Modes New Codes. Updating the ICD-10-CM Injury Codes to Include New Vehicles
The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) is used in the United States to categorize diseases and injuries for research, billing and administrative purposes. Because e-scooters and other micromobility devices are so new, there have been no ICD-10-CM codes for categorizing injuries related to these types of vehicles. One of the outcomes of work by LEVER researchers at UNC and UTK was to engage with the public health and injury surveillance communities to propose and adopt new codes to make sure that injuries that include riders of micromobility vehicles are properly coded in injury databases. The first code update was aimed including scooters and other micromobility vehicles (e.g., one-wheels) into injury databases. That update was published in October 2020. The second revision distinguishes e-bikes from motorcycles and assures that the coding is exclusive of bicycles. That was approved for October 2022 release.
ICD-10-CM. Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting
UN Environment Program (UNEP) Global Electric Mobility Working Group
The UNEP Global Electric Mobility Program supports more than 50 low- and middle-income countries move toward electrification in their transport sector. It is broken into four thematic working groups. LEVER researcher Cherry (UTK) is a member of the Electric 2- and 3-wheeler working group to support electrification of the most wide-spread form of motorized mobility throughout Asia, Africa and South America. This working group partners with dozens of global organizations to realize electrification of this sector of vehicles through shared and owned two micromobility vehicles throughout the most populous and rapidly motorizing markets in the world. The workgroup will establish a network for global e-mobility advocacy, technology & policy advice focusing on electric 2&3 wheelers and develop knowledge products for capacity building and training through the UNEP support and investment platforms.
SPIN Micromobility Research Fund
LEVER researchers Cherry (UTK) and MacArthur (PSU) are members of SPIN scooter company’s micromobility research fund in the United Kingdom. Under that program SPIN scooter company is working with researchers in the United Kingdom to roll out a series of research projects related to various safety aspects of e-scooter use as well as rider travel behavior and the challenges and opportunities of the integration of e-scooters within a city’s road systems and existing public transport networks. The LEVER team will help guide research directions and consult on how to translate research to practice in the UK and beyond. The SPIN research program integrates researchers from ten universities in the UK and USA to monitor rider behavior as shared scooters roll out in cities in the UK.
Bird Global Safety Advisory Board
LEVER researcher Cherry (UTK) served on Bird’s Global Safety Advisory Board from March 2019-March 2020 as Bird scooter company ramped up deployments throughout North America and beyond. One of the primary criticisms of scooter deployments were real and perceived safety challenges with integrating scooters into urban infrastructure. Through work on the safety advisory board, Dr. Cherry, along with Bird safety policy staff and other board members convened multiple safety roundtables around the country and engaged dozens of stakeholders to ultimately recommend approaches to safety policy that cities, riders, and operators can take. Four recommendations included 1) accelerating rollout of improved infrastructure, 2) improve driver and rider education, 3) advance vehicle design and technology, and 4) protect the rights of pedestrians. Many of the safety innovations that scooter operators deploy today were based on recommendations from the work of the Bird safety board.
Electric Scooter Survey Question Library
Cities, NGOs, mobility service operators and others are eager to understand the use and impacts of shared e-scooters, and to gain insight into who uses them, what trips they are used for and what modes of transportation they might replace. Surveys are an important tool to answer these questions, though wide variance in type and wording of questions asked can make it challenging to compare surveys to draw conclusions about the use and impact of e-scooters. To guide researchers in selecting and formulating survey questions, and to ensure the data collected from e-scooter surveys contributes to our broader understanding of e-scooter use and impacts, LEVER researchers Cherry and Wen (UTK) and Sandt (UNC) conducted a “survey of surveys,” developing categories of questions and offering recommended formulations for each question. The survey question library is developed and deployed in coordination with the World Resource Institute’s New Urban Mobility (NUMO) Alliance. The work is part of the Collaborative Science Center for Road Safety’s (CSCRS) Understanding Micromobility Safety Behavior project. The question library is found at the link below.
International Transport Forum Safe Micromobility Study
The OECD’s International Transport Forum (ITF) convened a group of experts in 2019 to contribute to a report on Safe Micromobility. In 2019, micromobility and especially shared scooter systems were rapidly expanding throughout the world. The ITF published the first of its kind comprehensive report on safety based on available data at the time. LEVER researcher Cherry (UTK) contributed to that workshop and presented on safety research he and his team had done at that point. The report produced ten recommendations to improve safety of micromobility systems, particularly shared systems. Most notably, the report focused on transportation system safety, which also includes countermeasures like reducing impaired car driving to improve micromobility safety. Other important contributions of this work identified ways to improve safety by providing incentives to improve behavior of riders, operators, and drivers.