Bird brings electric scooters to the UK by taking advantage of the loophole

Bird brings electric scooters to the UK by taking advantage of the loophole

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Richard Corbett, director of Bird UK.

Richard Corbett, director of Bird UK.Bird.

Bird was the first electric scooter service launched in the UK today after a law in 1835 found a loophole that had previously blocked the popular scooters of Britain's roads.

The launch is part of a pilot at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, starting with scooters confined to a 1-mile private walk that commuters use to drive to the Tech East East Hub of Stratford.

"Technology is always ahead of the law," said Richard Corbett, Chief of Bird UK Forbes,

"We can drive on private land. This means that we can start with the landowner's permission in locations such as airports, universities, commercial parks and parks. "

The route at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where Bird Scooter will operate.

The route at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where Bird Scooter will operate.Bird.

At the start there are 50 scooters available for rent for £ 1 (US $ 1.30) plus 20 p / minute (US $ 0.20). Corbett says Bird has the approval of Olympic Park to expand the study to 100 scooters when demand grows.

"It's the first step on a long road to changing regulations," he said. "The more attempts we can make, the more we can demonstrate the functionality of the service, the better and the faster we can change the rules."

Forbes is aware that Loughborough University, which has a postgraduate campus in Here East, has shown interest in using bird scooters on its main campus, depending on the success of the Olympic Park pilot.

For now, however, these electric scooters are limited by this rather inelegant gap in British law that Bird has discovered, not that the company would describe it that way.

For example, these electric scooters can be used on private walkways, but only where these walkways do not interact with roads accessible to public vehicles.

Bird.

What this means for Stratford is a pretty chaotic compromise. First, Bird drivers are encouraged to disembark to cross the two or three streets that intersect the walkway (though many will certainly ignore this rule).

Secondly, this means that the GPS geofence, which controls where the scooters can be used (by disabling the electric motor and possibly locking the wheels), is relentless. Take a wrong turn or let go of the approved route Powerless Push Scooter in minutes.

Bird says it will also limit its scooter operating hours to 7am to 9pm. Additional restrictions and removal of scooters when playing West Ham at nearby London Stadium.

All this is to say that today's launch of Bird is a compromise.

Throughout Europe, Bird is rapidly expanding in Paris, the first European city, Brussels, Vienna, Antwerp, Zurich and Madrid, which was launched yesterday.

In these cities, electric scooters are quickly used by tens of thousands of people to solve the "last mile" of their commute.

Bird is worth $ 2 billion and has 2.1 million registered drivers worldwide who have made more than 10 million trips.

However, due to the archaic traffic rules of the United Kingdom as well as the political priorities of Brexit, Bird and the rival motorcycle service Lime, the regulatory changes they need are hard to meet.

Private-sector start-ups and pilots are only so far advanced, and the introduction of Bird's Olympic Park, with its current limitations, will probably frustrate as many people as it pleases.

But for a company like Bird, which wants to enforce significant legislative changes, frustrated customers could be just what they need.

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Richard Corbett, director of Bird UK.

Richard Corbett, director of Bird UK.Bird.

Bird was the first electric scooter service launched in the UK today after a law in 1835 found a loophole that had previously blocked the popular scooters of Britain's roads.

The launch is part of a pilot at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, starting with scooters confined to a 1-mile private walk that commuters use to drive to the Tech East East Hub of Stratford.

"Technology is always ahead of the law," said Richard Corbett, Chief of Bird UK Forbes,

"We can drive on private land. This means that we can start with the landowner's permission in locations such as airports, universities, commercial parks and parks. "

The route at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where Bird Scooter will operate.

The route at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where Bird Scooter will operate.Bird.

At the start there are 50 scooters available for rent for £ 1 (US $ 1.30) plus 20 p / minute (US $ 0.20). Corbett says Bird has the approval of Olympic Park to expand the study to 100 scooters when demand grows.

"It's the first step on a long road to changing regulations," he said. "The more attempts we can make, the more we can demonstrate the functionality of the service, the better and the faster we can change the rules."

Forbes is aware that Loughborough University, which has a postgraduate campus in Here East, has shown interest in using bird scooters on its main campus, depending on the success of the Olympic Park pilot.

For now, however, these electric scooters are limited by this rather inelegant gap in British law that Bird has discovered, not that the company would describe it that way.

For example, these electric scooters can be used on private walkways, but only where these walkways do not interact with roads accessible to public vehicles.

Bird.

What this means for Stratford is a pretty chaotic compromise. First, Bird drivers are encouraged to disembark to cross the two or three streets that intersect the walkway (though many will certainly ignore this rule).

Secondly, this means that the GPS geofence, which controls where the scooters can be used (by disabling the electric motor and possibly locking the wheels), is relentless. Take a wrong turn or let go of the approved route Powerless Push Scooter in minutes.

Bird says it will also limit its scooter operating hours to 7am to 9pm. Additional restrictions and removal of scooters when playing West Ham at nearby London Stadium.

All this is to say that today's launch of Bird is a compromise.

Throughout Europe, Bird is rapidly expanding in Paris, the first European city, Brussels, Vienna, Antwerp, Zurich and Madrid, which was launched yesterday.

In these cities, electric scooters are quickly used by tens of thousands of people to solve the "last mile" of their commute.

Bird is worth $ 2 billion and has 2.1 million registered drivers worldwide who have made more than 10 million trips.

However, due to the archaic traffic rules of the United Kingdom as well as the political priorities of Brexit, Bird and the rival motorcycle service Lime, the regulatory changes they need are hard to meet.

Private-sector start-ups and pilots are only so far advanced, and the introduction of Bird's Olympic Park, with its current limitations, will probably frustrate as many people as it pleases.

But for a company like Bird, which wants to enforce significant legislative changes, frustrated customers could be just what they need.

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