Bolt cracks down on tandem riding in Berlin

Bird is also testing a skid braking prevention system in the German capital
Mobility as a Service / January 17, 2022
By Ben Spencer
Bolt riding in tandem Berlin Germany European Patent Office skid braking prevention system
The technology is based on the Bolt 4 electric scooter's built-in accelerometer (© Mihai Neacsu |

Bolt has introduced a system in the German capital Berlin to prevent riding in tandem, whereby more than one person stands on an electric scooter. 

In a blog post, Bolt says tandem riding is a frequent cause of accidents for scooter operators and riders everywhere, even though it is strictly prohibited.

Dmitri Pivovarov, vice president for rentals at Bolt, says: “We are more than micromobility providers. We want to be partners for cities and communities. This is why we have decided to take on the most pressing safety challenges in the scooter industry: tandem riding, drunk riding and skidding,”

As part of the launch, Bolt has applied for a patent with the European Patent Office, which will cover 154 countries.

“Being taken under consideration for a patent on our tandem riding prevention system is a clear sign that we are on the right path,” Pivovarov adds.

The technology is based on the Bolt 4 electric scooter's built-in accelerometer, designed to measure the scooter’s acceleration rate. The same hardware detects sudden changes in mass, which signals several people riding on a single scooter. The user is sent a push notification once the app detects tandem riding. 

Elsewhere in Berlin, Bolt is testing a skid braking prevention system to address dangerous riding behaviours, like fast riding and drifting. The system detects when the back wheel of a scooter gets locked due to rapid braking, and the rider is warned through the app. 

Additionally, Bolt is rolling out a cognitive reaction test to prevent intoxicated riding. The app asks the potential rider to react to different instructions on the screen during times when riding under the influence is likely to happen. It measures the cognitive reaction time before allowing the user to ride a scooter. 

The test has already been launched in 14 cities and is gradually being rolled out across Europe. 

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