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Capabilities and Limitations Related to Vehicle Dynamics and Operator Kinematics of Electric Scooter Micro-Mobility Modes
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
To be published on April 14, 2020 by SAE International in United States
Micro-mobility is a fast-growing trend in the transportation industry with stand-up electric scooters (e-scooters) becoming increasingly popular in the United States. To date, there are over 350 ride-share e-scooter programs in the United States. As this popularity increases, so does the need to understand the performance capabilities of these vehicles and the associated operator kinematics. Scooter tip-over stability is characterized by the scooter geometry and controls and is maintained through operator inputs such as body position, interaction with the handlebars, and foot placement. In this study, testing was conducted using operators of varying sizes to document the capabilities and limitations of these e-scooters being introduced into the traffic ecosystem. A test course was designed to simulate an urban environment including sidewalk and on-road sections requiring common maneuvers (e.g., turning, stopping points, etc.) for repeatable, controlled data collection. A commercially available e-scooter was instrumented to measure acceleration and velocity, steering angle, roll angle, and GPS position. Operators ranging from the 15th percentile to the 85th percentile were instrumented with wearable sensors to gain insight into the positions, velocities, and accelerations of the head, torso, and extremities. Additionally, load cells were mounted on the ride platform to provide data related to dynamic weight transfer. Analysis of video, wearable sensor data, and scooter instrumentation data provided insight into the vehicle dynamics and operator kinematics with varying operator anthropometry, contributing to discussion of the capabilities and limitations of this popular micro-mobility transportation mode.