Transport for London is expanding its data strategy with plans to run a pilot on how Londoners are using microtransport - vehicles such as electric scooters, e-bikes and e-cargo bikes - as part of plans to develop future transport needs.
The 18-month pilot is the latest in a number of data-driven initiatives, which have seen TfL turn to data science to tackle everything from the capital’s gridlocked road network to cycle lanes and cycle parking.
The authority is now seeking a partner to develop a system capable of bringing together data from micromobility operators in the city and sharing it with both TfL and London boroughs.
Requirements for the system include APIs, the ability for TfL and the boroughs to download data, and provide additional information including the location of vehicles, unique vehicle identifiers, their availability and start and end times of journeys.
The authority’s plans tap into the Department for Transport’s Future Mobility Urban Strategy report, which highlights the potential of micromobility vehicles.
The DfT document states: “This review will consider options for appropriate testing regimes for micromobility, to ensure any such vehicles on the road are safe and fit for purpose. As well as identifying basic parameters for safe design and operation of new vehicles such as electric scooters, the aim will be to enable future trials of innovative ideas without the need to change legislation each time. This work may lead to new definitions of vehicles to enable wider use of micromobility.
"This could take the form of locally limited trialling, which will support our aim to enable the leaders of cities and towns to shape emerging mobility technologies and services proactively. The review may also consider measures to enable responsible and effective hire schemes for micromobility, such as a Code of Practice for operators.
"We will also take the first steps to consider how traffic regulation and street design may need to evolve to accommodate new vehicles and new ways of using roads."