Tag Archive: safety

  1. UK government advised to consider new private e-scooter legislation

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    Source: European Transport Safety Council

    European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) member, PACTS, has set out recommendations for private e-scooter use in the UK if the vehicles are to become legal. This includes mandatory helmet use and a minimum rider age of 16. Recommendations were based on a nine-month research project.

    At present, e-scooter use in the UK is limited to city-specific rental schemes. Private usage is restricted to private land, despite this over a million such vehicles have entered the UK in recent years and it is not uncommon to see them in a public setting. Many users are either ignorant of or ignore the ban on public use and face fines or confiscation.

    Following its research, PACTS has published a comprehensive report looking at many aspects of e-scooter design and use which took into account research and experience from across the rest of Europe, where e-scooters are legal in most countries. This is seen by PACTS as the ideal legal scenario in which to launch private e-scooter ownership in the UK. Recommendations are as follows:

    • Maximum possible top speed of between 10mph-12.5mph (16-20km/h)
    • Maximum continuous rated motor power 250 W
    • Anti-tampering mechanisms should be included in the construction. Tampering should be prohibited by law
    • A maximum unladen weight of 20kg
    • A minimum front wheel size of 12 inches (30.5cm) and minimum rear wheel size of 10 inches (25.5cm)
    • Two independently controlled braking devices
    • Lighting to be mandatory at all times
    • An audible warning device to be mandatory
    • Helmet wearing to be mandatory
    • Rider age limit of at least 16 years
    • Riding on the pavement to be prohibited
    • Carrying of a passenger to be prohibited
    • Drink driving, dangerous or careless riding, and mobile phone use to be prohibited
    • In-person rider training recommended
    • e-scooters should be regulated as motor vehicles
    • Public liability insurance for riders recommended
    • The rider should inform the police if there is a collision involving an injury 
  2. Taito aims to improve e-scooter safety with new design elements

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    Source: Bike EU

    Belgian start-up Taito aims to combat the safety issues of e-scooter use in city traffic, developing a three-wheel e-scooter with floating deck and propriety suspension.

    As the popularity of e-scooters has risen, so have the associated injury and accident statistics. The Belgium Institute for Road Safety has determined the main causes of such incidents to be instability and uneven roads. Alongside providing a comfortable and fun ride, LEVA-EU member Taito aims to tackle these safety issues directly.

    Taito co-founder François Desmet shares, “We started with a three-wheeled design to increase stability. Then we developed a suspension system that allows users to tilt and turn the front wheels while also dampening road vibrations. The wooden deck is isolated from the frame with rubber studs which gives it a floating appearance. To further improve safety at night we integrated indicator lights and a rider light, which illuminates the back of the rider in bright red, to be visible from all angles.”

    Finally, by partnering with Accelerated Systems Inc. (ASI) as a motor controller supplier, Taito can precisely program their scooters using the BACDoor Engineering Software. This allows for an extra smooth ride and unique rider profiles.

  3. United Kingdom highway code changes in force from 29 January

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    Source: GOV.UK

    Changes to the highway code provide fresh guidance to increase road safety, including a hierarchy of road users and promotion of the ‘Dutch reach’.  

    From 29 January 2022 changes to the highway code which act to protect the most at-risk road users come into effect. Notably, the UK will see the introduction of a road-user hierarchy, which ensures quicker or heavier modes of travel have the greatest responsibility to reduce their dangerous impact on others.

    Cyclists will also receive a reminder to ride in the centre of quiet roads, during slow-moving traffic, as well as in the approach to junctions. This guidance ensures riders remain as visible as possible, particularly in typical ‘danger zones’. Additionally, the legality of riding two abreast will be reinforced, which in many cases is the safest formation for larger groups, or those travelling with children.

    Finally, the ‘Dutch reach’ will be encouraged amongst motorists, in which one opens an adjacent door with the opposite arm. This manoeuvre physically encourages the motorist to look over their shoulder, and therefore, reduced the chance of injury to passing pedestrians or cyclists.

    Changes will be communicated to the public via the acclaimed THINK! road-safety campaign, backed with £500,000 in funding. It should be noted that all updates are advisory, and therefore not reinforced with a fine.

  4. First acoustic tests of the conspicuousness of an electric car with the THOR AVAS system carried out in Russia

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    Electric transport does not have a motor, making it is practically inaudible when driving, and it is hardly noticeable, which increases the likelihood of collisions with other road users.

    According to European 138 UN Regulations, such vehicles must be equipped with a special sound warning system – AVAS, the task of which is to increase the visibility of silent electric vehicles.

    Since the law was passed back in 2016, and the electric transport industry is developing rapidly, the solution in the form of AVAS (Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System), which provides for the inclusion of warning sounds at speeds from 0 to 20 km / h, is also not entirely relevant. The latest Tesla accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 3 seconds. Which can lead to serious consequences on the roads.

    Car Systems company (THOR), a resident of Skolkovo that produces the unique THOR AVAS sound notification system is also scrupulously studying all aspects, conducting its research with electric vehicles, taking into account various data on loudness and sounds created by the company’s sound engineers, taking into account various scenarios.

    In October 2021, the THOR AVAS division conducted the first open road tests in Russia at the Skolkovo innovation center with the support of WATTS BATTERY, which provided portable power supplies for connecting acoustic equipment. And of course, the Dewesoft Base Station, a mixed-signal acquisition system and multichannel data logger in one device, helped the engineering team make such accurate measurements.

    The essence of the study was to assess the conspicuousness of an electric car with the THOR AVAS system: the test participants (experts) took a specially designated place near the roadway, the car began to move 500 meters away from them and, at the moment when the experts began to hear the car, they pressed a button on the remote control. t the same time, the equipment recorded the distance from the car to the experts (according to GPS coordinates), the acoustic conditions next to the experts, and the speed of the car.

    The work of acoustic engineers at THOR presents the results of an experiment evaluating the subjective indicators of a car’s conspicuousness by pedestrians (listeners), which were determined through the distance to the car at the moment the expert fixed its approach, and the time from the moment of fixation to the car’s approach to the expert.

    These subjective indicators of conspicuousness were compared with the objective parameters of the noise from the car measured according to UN Regulation No. 138 – the level of sound pressure, its frequency response, as well as the sound level.

    The electric Tesla Model 3 with the THOR AVAS system drove at five speed modes of 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 km / h with three positions of the AVAS volume control – 60% (corresponds to the maximum permissible sound level according to UN Regulation No. 138), volume 30% and with the AVAS system turned off. For comparison, 2 cars with an internal combustion engine (ICE) were taken.   

    At low speeds of 10 and 20 km / h, the noise from a car with an internal combustion engine is greater than from an electric car, which can be seen from the results of measurements of the maximum sound pressure level LZmax (Pic. 1.b). The Tesla is with turned off of AVAS system.

    The qualitative fact that electric cars are less noticeable to pedestrians than conventional cars with internal combustion engines (ICE) is well known from our everyday experience.

    According to the results of our experiment, we were able to express this visibility already quantitatively – we determined the time of fixation by pedestrians of an electric car and a car with an ICE (i.e. the time that passes from the moment when the pedestrian noticed the car to the moment when the car drove up to the pedestrian). For an electric car, this time is approximately 10 seconds, and for a car with an internal combustion engine – 15 seconds. The results of acoustic measurements showed that this is due to the noise of the ICE  in the low-frequency region, which is determined by the second harmonic of the fundamental tone of the engine operation.

    An experiment to estimate the fixation time for an electric car with an AVAS system operating at maximum volume (according to UN Regulation No. 138) showed that an electric car is noticed by a pedestrian in a suburban environment for too long a time – 25-45 seconds. Moreover, with an increase in speed, this time decreases.

    An ideal AVAS system should work in such a way that the fixation time does not depend on the speed of the electric vehicle (at least at speeds up to 40 km / h), or on the level of environmental noise, and at the same time does not exceed the fixation time of cars with ICE. That is, the AVAS system should be intelligent and be able to adapt to the environment, which is not provided for by the existing international regulatory documents, and more flexibly adjust to the speed of movement.

    A scientific approach to the development of the sounds of the AVAS system will make it more noticeable at a lower volume, which will have a beneficial effect on the acoustic ecology and reduce the noise level of cities.

    The problem of low conspicuousness applies not only to electric cars but also to lighter vehicles with electric propulsion: scooters, mopeds, motor scooters, and the rest of the so-called micro-transport, which is not defined as a vehicle at all in regulatory documents.

  5. RAPEX Warnings 2020

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    The Rapid Exchange of Information System is the EU rapid alert system for unsafe consumer products and the measures taken by the member states to deal with that safety problem. The Commission publishes a weekly overview of RAPEX notifications. Below you will find notifications relating to light, electric vehicles. To consult the full details of a notification on the Commission’s website, just click on the week.

    WeekBrandType
    Week 50
    Product: Electric ScooterTechlifeModel: X9
    Risk type: 
    Injuries

    The scooter is equipped with inadequate element connecting platform with handlebar and front wheel. Cracks may occur in the handlebar, leading to this element’s breaking. The user might fall off the scooter and suffer injuries. / The product does not comply with the requirements of the Machinery Directive.

    Measures taken by economic operators: Recall of the product from end users (By: Manufacturer)
    Week 46
    Product: self-balancing vehicleMomo DesignModel: LONDON65 MD-H65
    Risk type: 
    Electric shok, fire 

    Water may enter in the product’s charger, and the it is not resistant to moisture. This can damage the product’s electric components causing it to overheat and catch fire. It may also short circuit and make accessible parts live, and a user may suffer an electric shock. / The product does not comply with the requirements of the Machinery Directive and the relevant standard IEC 60335-2-114.

    Measures taken by economic operators: Withdrawal of the product from the market (by: Distributor)
    Week 43
    Product: Electric ScooterOxeloModel: X7, X7S
    Risk type: 
    Injuries  

    The steering column tube can break. As a result, the user might loose control and fall off the scooter and suffer injuries. / The product does not comply with the requirements of the Machinery Directive.

    Measures taken by economic operators: Recall of the product from end users (By: Retailer).
    Company recall page:  https://www.decathlon.mt/c/367-product-recall
    Week 42
    Product: self-balancing scooter TechlifeModel: X7, X7S
    Risk type: 
    Injuries  

    Cracks may occur in the handlebar, leading to this element’s breaking. The user might fall off the scooter and suffer injuries. / The product does not comply with the requirements of the Machinery Directive.
    Measures taken by economic operators: Recall of the product from end users (By: Manufacturer)
    Company recall page:  https://techlife.pl/info/techlife-akcja-serwisowa-modele-techlife-x7-oraz-x7s.html.
    Week 34
    Product: self-balancing scooter MantaModel: MSB001 VIPER
    Risk type: 
    Burns, Fire  

    The battery can easily overcharge, leading to overheating which can result in burns, explosion, or fire.  The product does not comply with the requirements of the Machinery Directive and the relevant European standard EN 62133-2. 

    Measures taken by economic operators: Stop of sales (By: Importer).
    Measures ordered by public authorities (to: Distributor): Ban on the marketing of the product and any accompanying measures.  
    Week 22 
    Product: electric folding bicycleBIZOBIKEModel: 7EVEN+
    Risk type: 
    Fire  

    The battery can overcharge and overheat. This will increase the risk of fire.
    The product does not comply with the relevant European Standard EN 62133-2.  
    Measures taken by economic operators: Stop of sales (By: Importer)
    Measures ordered by public authorities (to: Other): Recall of the product from end users  
    Week 3 
    Product: hoverboardENetModel: P5B Hoverboard
    Risk type: 
    Electric shock, Fire, Injuries  

    The wheels of the hoverboard can inadvertently operate while the device is being held off the ground by the user.
    Consequently, the hand or other body parts of the person could become trapped, leading to injuries.
    The charger lacks an adequate over-current protection device and has accessible live parts. Additionally, the creepage and clearance distances between primary and accessible secondary circuits are insufficient.
    Consequently, the user could receive an electric shock or cause the product to overheat leading to fire.
    The product does not comply with the requirements of the Low Voltage and Machinery Directives and the relevant European standard EN 62368-1.

    Measures ordered by public authorities (to: Distributor): Withdrawal of the product from the market.
    Product: self-balancing scooterP10 Wheel NewModel: P10H Hoverboard / ZH-42-2000 (Charger)
    Risk type:
    Injuries  

    The wheels of the hoverboard can inadvertently operate while the device is being held off the ground by the user.
    Consequently, the hand or other body parts of the person could become trapped, leading to injuries.
    The product does not comply with the requirements of the Machinery Directive.

    Measures ordered by public authorities (to: Distributor): Withdrawal of the product from the market
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