E-scooters will be equipped with noise-emitting devices to protect partially sighted pedestrians

The UK’s largest e-scooter provider is trialling adding artificial sound to the vehicles in three cities to protect blind and partially sighted pedestrians.

Engineers at Voi have designed a low humming sound that its e-scooters will emit to alert pedestrians that a scooter is approaching.

Like electric cars, e-scooters typically make little to no noise while moving. The European Union ruled that all new electric cars required a noise-emitting device back in 2019 following concerns raised by campaigners including the charity Guide Dogs that pedestrians were at greater risk from vehicles they could not hear as easily as those with traditional combustion engines.

Voi will be adding the artificial noise to 60 e-scooters in Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol, where its vehicles are being trialled alongside a consultation to collect feedback from visual impairment groups, local councils and police.