e-scooter operator TIER commits to acoustic alert system
Representatives from Sight Loss Councils attended e-scooter operator TIER’s official UK launch today, where it unveiled its safest e-scooter ever built.
Engagement Manager Iain Mitchell pressed the CEO of TIER, Lawrence Leuschner, on whether TIER would commit to installing an acoustic vehicle alert system (AVA) to provide warning to blind and partially sighted pedestrians. The CEO publicly confirmed this today.
Lawrence said: “It’s not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of when. We will make it happen!”
Representatives from TIER who attended the launch tried out the sim specs that simulate the vision impairments many partially sighted people have.
The e-scooter operator now has a better understanding of the challenges blind and partially sighted people face and the real risks e-scooters could bring to them.
Iain said: “SLCs have been raising awareness of this issue as they can travel at speeds of 15kmph, while weighing up to 40kgs. TIER e-scooters are 30kg. Crashes at this speed and weight pose significant risks to riders and pedestrians.
“Blind and partially sighted pedestrians use mobility aids and sound to navigate the built environment. Some partially sighted people do not use a cane, so it may not be obvious to riders that pedestrians are visually impaired. The introduction of silent, heavy and fast vehicles represents a real danger and creates understandable fears among visually impaired people.
“So the commitment from TIER’s CEO that they will introduce an AVA is welcome news”.
Photo: CEO of TIER, Lawrence Leuschner, tries on sim specs watched by Fred Jones from TIER and SLC Engagement Manager, Iain Mitchell
Publication date: 15 October 2020