Shared Scooter theft, vandalism, abuse. Solutions?


Forbes article that talks about this.

Things that seem to work to varying degrees:

  • Photo of a just-used scooter by its rider to verify it’s parked correctly and safely.
  • Geofencing
  • Immobilizers (but be wary of the problem they might cause - see article)
  • Locking scooters to rails or posts
  • Social pressure

Things that don’t seem to be a good answer to theft/vandalism:

  • A loud alarm that threatens to call police
  • Relying solely on social pressure

Some further ideas to explore:

  • Silent alarms that notify the scooter owner
  • Loud alarms with no spoken component (such as “Put me down or I call police”)
  • Cameras that photograph the rider or anyone who moves the scooter

Further ideas, thoughts, comments?

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I live in Melbourne and we had obikes in our area for a while, they ended up trashed, thrown all over the place. I had to move them out of the way more than once to push a pram along the pavement.

Photo is a good idea, but batteries run down on phones so it can’t be compulsory, which means it can’t be used.

Immobilizers won’t stop me picking up the bike and throwing it down an embankment or into a pond or whatever. It assumes the people are stealing the scooter or bike to use it rather than just trashing it, which is more likely

rails or posts is possible somewhere like London. Where I live there are very few places you could attach it too, and also on private property like railings of an apartment block, people will likely call the council and have it removed.

Social pressure is useless after dark

I would suggest a fluro sign that tells people the scooter has geolocation and cameras which activate when it is moved and which upload data to the cloud. Any damage will be reported to the police. That will deter most people, though some people will put hoodies on and vandalise so there will still be damage.

The best option is to have designated spots such as stations, mall parking areas, bike areas in car parks, etc, plot them so there is one every 1km. That way you can externalise your costs by having existing security and cctv working for you.

Local councils will support it if you pitch it as saving car journeys, eco friendly, etc. So town halls, libraries, etc, will be good also.