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Cities in California Use Geofencing to Manage E-Scooters

Cities across California have begun to experiment with using geofencing to restrict areas where e-scooters can operate [1].

Geofencing is a technology that has the ability to remotely enforces speed, parking restrictions and even enforce so-called dead zones where the motor of the e-scooter stops working altogether. Many cities are now following Santa Monica’s lead and are using the technology to control how micro-mobility devices such as e-scooters are being deployed in their city.

The restrictions are being written into the operators’ systems and with the city making different deals with companies, different e-scooters might have different restrictions at the same location. Also, since companies are requested to do changes week to week, it can be hard for riders to keep track of what is permitted and each mobility providers specific restrictions.

Advocates for this technology claim that it is much more efficient than law enforcement with sceptics saying that using geofencing is not always safe. Several digital privacy experts have also expressed concern regarding the huge amount of rider trip data that cites have collected.

 

Personal comments

Geofencing could be a great way for the cities to understand how riders move in the city by producing valuable input on the capacity needed to offer safe mobility. There are also safety issues that can be addressed using this technology by setting spatial speed limits. Another application is what’s being done in Sweden where parts of larger cities will be geofenced to guide connected vehicles in different ways, for instance, to decide whether they should run on electricity or fuel, or to prohibit uncertified vehicles in certain areas [2].

However, geofencing infringes on privacy and should the users find that to be an issue, micromobility services could suffer.

 

Written by Mahdere DW Amanuel, RISE Viktoria.

 

Source

1. 2019-09-17. Did your rented e-scooter suddenly shut down? Blame the invisible geofence

2. 2018-12-06. Så ska geofencing införas i svenska städer.