February 9, 2023

Micromobility: Moving Cities into a Sustainable Future with IoT

Building more sustainable urban transport systems has long been a central focus for cities around the world. Reducing traffic, noise, and pollution while creating a seamless mobility experience has led to an unexpected success story in the urban transport sector, namely micromobility.

In cities around the world, urban dwellers are taking advantage of a growing range of share micromobility options, including e-scooters, e-bikes, and mini-mobility cargo bikes, all of which make our cities more pedestrian friendly and allow us to get around our cities in a cost-effective and efficient way, something that is very welcome as more and more of our cities create an increasing number of car-free/pedestrian-only zones.

The rise of new micromobility options, though, has also brought new challenges. Most of us probably remember when things like e-scooters, electric cargo bikes and other forms of micro-mobility first started populating our cities a few years ago. There were concerns around safety, for both riders and pedestrians. But while any new technology is going to face challenges before it settles into the fabric of our life, micromobility isn’t going anywhere, and many of these challenges can be addressed through connectivity and IoT technology.

Many micromobility companies have not only been addressing these challenges such around parking, speed, more than one rider, etc., they have also been adding additional bells and whistles that benefit society as a whole.

Leveraging IoT technology & cellular connectivity

Some players in the micro-mobility space are keen to be part of the solution, rather than the problem, so they are working with both competitors and cities governments to address various challenges. One effort involves teaming up with peers to install ‘scooter racks’ – similar to the bike racks we see used for city bike schemes – showing exactly where to find these racks on an app. The app also uses geofencing that addresses where the scooter can park or ride, which means payment will not be terminated unless you park in a designated area. This is where IoT technology is crucial, because a micro-mobility company would not be able to geo-fence or process payments without it. And this solution can be applied across the micro-mobility sector.

Because micromobility is very much a ‘green’ transportation solution, there are initiatives to place air quality sensors on e-scooters. The sensors measure air quality and then send collected data back to the city, which helps the city understand where there are trouble areas and incorporate that information into their larger city planning. E-scooters are particularly suited to this initiative, as they travel nearly everywhere in the city, even in places where cars don’t go. So, while the main purpose of an e-scooter is green transportation, there can be added benefits that enhance the environmental efforts of cities.

None of these initiatives, though, would be possible without IoT and cellular connectivity – and as the micromobility ecosystem evolves, we’ll see more and more initiatives that not only continue to make micromobility a welcome addition to our city lives, they will help our cities become more sustainable.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can help your micromobility solution, please get in touch.

Anders Jutered
Key Account Manager
Tele2 IoT

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