Images of climate innovation

Category: Sustainable world

Innovative micromobility trials on campus

What's this about?

Facilities on the University of Warwick campus act as a mini city testing ground for micromobility solutions. Micromobility could join up the UK transport network and provide convenient environmentally friendly travel options for everyone, whether cyclists, last-mile deliveries, or those with mobility issues. Warwick are researching how micromobility can be delivered sustainably, examining not only the vehicle design, but every aspect of the service.

Two cyclists alongside a futuristic vehicle

More detail about the research

Shared, or rental micromobility solutions are becoming a popular mode of transport across the world, with their usage accelerating particularly rapidly since 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of Warwick is working to ensure e-scooters, e-bikes, and shared mobility pods are designed to be delivered in a sustainable way, examining not only the vehicle design but every aspect of the service, including analysis of the environment micromobility vehicles operate in and how both riders and non-riders engage with the service. For example, the two-year High-Value Manufacturing Catapult project seeks to increase e-scooter service life from 3 months to 3 years, through innovative human factors engineering processes in collaboration with leading e-scooter companies. This significant increase in average service life has the potential to greatly reduce environmental impact and make e-scooters a truly sustainable form of transport.

According to INRIX, 67% of journeys in the UK's top five biggest cities are under three miles. Potentially resulting in significant amounts of CO2 being produced from standard internal combustion engine vehicles. One way to tackle these inner-city journeys is to introduce innovative micromobility solutions, such as e-scooters, electric autonomous pods, and e-bikes. Micromobility has the potential to join up the UK transport network and provide convenient environmentally friendly travel options for everyone, whether cyclists, last-mile deliveries, or those with mobility issues.

However, this won't simply happen overnight and requires the cooperation and commitment from government, local authorities, mobility-as-a-service providers, manufacturers, and the public. This image shows the facilities we are using on the University of Warwick campus, which acts as a mini-city testing ground for micromobility solutions. We are introducing electric pod routes on campus, e-scooter service and bike hire schemes; and are actively researching not only how to technically integrate micromobility services with existing mass transport, but also how to understand and address environmental and societal needs.

This means understanding the full vehicle life cycle, people's travel behaviour and the underlying decisions and needs associated with different types of transport. 

Entrant: Dr Roger Woodman , University of Warwick

Copyright: Carla Shepherd

Funding: High Value Manufacturing Catapult

Collaborators: Dr Neel Ocean, Carla Shepherd and Emily Hoare (University of Warwick)