Dott begins testing electric scooter sounds

Hoping to make e-scooters more friendly to blind and partially sighted people

Dott electric scooter
(Image credit: Dott)

We've already written about the planned 'universal sound' for electric scooters (opens in new tab) that hopes to alert pedestrians and other road users of their approach. Now Dott, a European micro-mobility company, has actually begun testing a selection of e-scooter sounds.

The sounds have been developed by researchers at the University of Salford and in partnership with the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB). 

The first-of-its-kind test marks the next phase of the project which has so far resulted in the development of three potential sounds to increase awareness of electric scooters without contributing to noise pollution. 

Wearing a virtual reality headset, participants will be immersed in a 360-degree environment, featuring simulations of e-scooter riders in different scenarios. 

Working with RNIB, a group of people, including blind and partially sighted, will be asked to identify when they are first aware of the electric scooter, and provide feedback on the suitability and preference of the three sounds. 

Dott electric scooter

(Image credit: Dott)

The tests will take place in a laboratory in London, before being repeated in Italy, Sweden and Spain in collaboration with blind associations across Europe. 

These trials in different countries will ensure international relevance with the aim of creating a global standard for electric scooter sound. 

Dr Antonio J Torija Martinez, Principal Investigator, University of Salford, said: “We are testing a series of carefully designed e-scooter sounds to find the right balance between maximum vehicle noticeability and minimum noise pollution. 

"Using virtual reality to create immersive and realistic scenarios, in a safe and controlled laboratory environment, will allow us to achieve robust results. By working closely with the RNIB and blind associations across Europe, we can ensure that the sound we develop is the best fit for their needs.”

Following the virtual reality phase, the sounds will be tested on the streets of London and across Europe, to validate the laboratory setting findings.

Do you think this will make electric scooter use more acceptable? Let up know on Facebook or Twitter.

Spencer Hart
Style and Travel Editor

As the Style and Travel Editor at T3, Spencer covers everything from clothes to cars and watches to hotels. Everything that's cool, stylish, and interesting, basically. He's been a part of T3 for over seven years, and in that time covered every industry event known to man, from CES and MWC to the Geneva Motorshow and Baselworld. When he's driving up and down the country in search of the greatest driving roads, he can be found messing around on an electric scooter, playing with luxury watches, or testing the latest fragrances.