New Zealand / Technology

Auckland brings in automatic slow zones on e-scooters

10:12 am on 15 May 2019

E-scooters will automatically slow to a maximum of 15km/h in parts of Auckland under a new council licensing scheme.

E-scooters in Auckland will automatically slow down to 15km/h when they his certain boundaries. Photo: 123RF

Slow-speed zones will be set up in high-use areas such as Takapuna, Devonport, Ponsonby and Karangahape Roads, and around Mission Bay, Kohimarama and St Heliers.

The second phase of the city's e-scooter trial was announced yesterday, with Wellington-based Flamingo joining competitors Lime and Wave.

Auckland Council licencing and regulatory compliance manager Craig Hobbs said the move was intended to ensure safety.

"It's that interface of the scooters with pedestrians; scooter-user safety is obviously important and road traffic generally," he said.

"People want to get to where they want to get to quickly, we understand that, having said that walking pace is around about 4km/h to 5km/h, so you're still doing about three times walking pace.

"We've just been working with the operators to make sure that we do cover all those bases and keep these things which are really the future, safe."

He said the scooters would slow down gradually as they hit a "geofence" boundary.

"That's technology that's built into the firmware and the software on the scoooters, so we worked with the operators to encourage that to occur and we're really pleased they've come to the party."

He said the initial trial had been very successful and they did not expect it would cause problems.

"Wave have had the 15km/h limit for the first trial ... that's gone really well and we've seen few very few incidents involving wave scooters and anticipate that'll now translate across to Lime and Flamingo."