How are cities preparing for micromobility?

Are cities encouraging or reluctantly tolerating micromobility? This Automotive World report looks at the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapid rise in low-speed, lightweight travel solutions

Special report: How are cities preparing for micromobility?

Automotive World’s special report on micromobility considers the opportunities and challenges these lightweight, low-speed travel solutions present for cities.

Micromobility involves lightweight, low-speed (≤25kph/16mph) vehicles that can be privately-owned or shared, and are pushed, pedalled or electrically powered. Micromobility offers quick, innovative and fun first- and last-mile solutions to tackle issues such as congestion and parking.

Start-ups dominate micromobility, and the typical start-up mantra of ‘ask for forgiveness, not for permission’ has caught many cities off guard, leaving regulators making rules long after fleets of micromobility devices have already been deployed.

Ultimately, cities want to work with micromobility vendors that will play by the rules. While all players need to apply for a permit beforehand, automaker-led services bring a level of trust and responsibility to the table. Cities may also favour those with the financial stability to ensure a continued reliable service.

COVID-19 has seen many cities create temporary cycle lanes and car-free zones to help ease crowding on public transport, and encourage alternatives to private vehicle use. This benefits micromobility providers, with many still operating to help key workers get to their destinations, and some will hope that the temporary features become permanent.

In this report:

‘Special report: How are cities preparing for micromobility? opens with an article commissioned exclusively for Automotive World by Dominique Bonte of ABI Research, and presents insight from a range of leading urban mobility stakeholders, including:

  • Bird
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Gensler
  • Jump (Uber)
  • Sonoma University
  • University of California, Davis
  • WSP
  • Yulu