While on-demand electric scooters are trying to gain momentum in Europe, one of the most ambitious start-ups in the scooter market has shut down in a country after its e-scooters have stopped rolling -path, injuring passengers.
Lime, the Uber bike and scooter rental company, which is raising $ 2 billion to $ 3 billion worth of funds, has released its entire fleet of scooters in Switzerland, in the cities of Basel and Zurich. security checks after multiple reports. people injuring themselves after their scooters braked suddenly during their use.
The company has sent a notice to users – presented in the screenshots below, in German, with the full text translated below – indicating that she is looking for if the malfunction is due to a software failure, when a software update causes a scooter to inadvertently restart during a trip, thereby engaging the immobilizer system.
To compensate for this service interruption, it offers users a credit of 15 minutes that they can use when restoring the service, without indicating when.
The text reads as follows:
To this day, you have surely heard the media say that we brought all the lime scooters to our workshops and that we suspended the service temporarily.
We have been informed of cases in which users have reported that sudden braking maneuvers occur during their journeys, leading to accidents. The safety of our users is our top priority and that is why we decided early this week to install all devices and submit them to a thorough security and quality check.
The investigation is underway. After the first indications, we are currently examining whether a software update could cause a restart during the trip, thereby triggering protection against theft. We have already taken steps to ensure that this never happens again. Nevertheless, we thoroughly test each device to ensure that no software or hardware issues remain.
We are optimistic that we will soon be operating again on the streets of Zurich and Basel and apologize for the disruption of the service. To compensate for this, we offer you a free 15-minute ride with the code "LIME-ON-SCHWEIZ". As soon as we get back.
We will keep you informed of developments. Thank you for your understanding.
Greetings lime green
Your Lime Switzerland team
We contacted Lime for more details and will update this post as we learn more.
The termination comes after reports in recent months describe how users were injured after the abrupt shutdown of their Lime scooters. In November, a doctor broke his elbow after his vehicle's speedometer failed, the brakes were activated and he was thrown into the air. (Fortunately, this happened in front of the hospital, where he also worked.)
Another runner dislocated his shoulder after falling on the handlebars of his Lime scooter while driving at about 25 km / h. A third suffered cuts and bruises in an incident similar to the other two: sudden braking on a trip.
Lime launched last summer e-scooter services in several cities in Europe. In Paris, his aggressive ambitions were to develop his business in 25 European cities by the end of 2018.
In Switzerland, lime has (had?) About 550 scooters in operation. But overall, lime has not yet achieved its broader regional goal. It is currently installed in 18 cities in Europe and not all are equipped with electric scooters.
In the UK, for example, Lime has few electric bikes and there are no plans yet to add scooters.
Part of the reason for this in the UK is that some modes of transportation face regulatory hurdles: technically they are classified as vehicles and therefore illegal if you drive without a license on public roads. On the other hand, many individuals are sold and used by individuals who may or may not have the appropriate identification information to use them, and regulations may be re-examined.
One of Lime's biggest competitors, Bird, launched electronic scooters in London last year, but his deployment was very limited, on private grounds of the Olympic campus.
In other markets, Lime initially launched scooters, but has since shut down. In December, Lime, along with rivals Wind and Voi, all received orders to stop the e – scooter activities in Madrid, after the city had determined that they presented a safety hazard after a series of accidents, including one death, among other security – related concerns.
We will update this message as we learn more. Overall, however, the evolution does not give a very positive picture.
Even before the massive launch of real services, the European market for electric scooters was already heavily populated with hopeful players. In addition to Lime and Bird flying over the United States, local start-ups such as Taxify, Dott, Wind and Voi, as well as transport monsters like VW, are all in the fray.
I guess everything is fine, only the best wins and all the rest, but seeing the first versions of these services be banned by the authorities or stopped by the companies themselves as a result of accidents makes that the l '39. one wonders if security is compromised in the name of aggression. competition in new, untapped areas of "disruptive" technologies.