New micromobility safety rules for the European Commission

TRL and fka GmbH have won a joint contract to study the need for harmonised technical rules to support the rise in use of personal mobility devices and increased safety for all road users.

Published on 21 February 2024

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TRL has announced a new European Commission (EC) contract win, to be delivered jointly with fka GmbH, aimed at analysing the micromobility market in the EU and options for advancing safety and technical harmonisation within the micromobility market which has seen exponential growth in recent years. This has prompted the incorporation of electric motors into bicycle designs and the emergence of novel electric personal mobility devices like e-scooters, hoverboards, and electric unicycles. However, the rapid expansion has outpaced regulation, prompting concerns about the appropriateness of the current regulatory framework for such devices. The EC has commissioned a study on the need for harmonised technical rules for personal mobility devices (PMDs) across the EU to support innovations in micromobility and increased safety for all road users.

Building on the 2021 TRL study into the market development and safety of personal mobility devices (PMDs) and L-category vehicles for the European Commission, TRL and fka GmbH will recommend a comprehensive classification system for PMDs which will support potential regulatory options for technical safety design requirements.

The collaboration leverages TRL and fka's extensive expertise, honed through previous projects for the European Commission and ongoing work with national regulators.

Dr George Beard, Head of New Mobility at TRL, highlighted the project's timeliness, stating, "Micromobility is now more popular than ever, but we still need to encourage adoption. Appropriate regulation is key for unlocking the micromobility market, ensuring high safety standards to protect users and to encourage mode shift away from cars."

The study includes extensive engagement with key stakeholders in the European PMD industry and with European national, regional and local authorities invested in promoting safe and sustainable micromobility.

“As the micromobility market continues to evolve, we are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping regulatory frameworks that prioritise safety and support the sustainable development of urban mobility,” says Dr Ianto Guy at TRL, Technical Lead for the project. “Finding a way to harmonise regulations across the EU will greatly assist industry to bring to the market safe and desirable solutions” he concludes.


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