Micromobility: what it is
The term micromobility it is more and more frequent in our conversations: our linguistic uses, in fact, reflect the concrete experiences we live in everyday reality and it is precisely here that alternative mobility phenomena such as scooters, segways or electric skateboards are managing to establish themselves.
There micromobilityafter all, it is nothing more than the use of "gait accelerators" to be used for short, mostly urban, journeys intended for one or more people.
Basically, all of these means have some precise characteristics in common:
- They allow quick travel (home-school or home-work)
- They offer the possibility to avoid traffic or the crowds of public transport
- They represent an economic alternative when compared to the use of cars and the like
- They do not require any certificate / license to be driven
In short, electric scooters, segways, monowheels, skateboards and electric bikes are increasingly frequent in large Italian cities precisely because they represent a valid alternative for those who want to focus on a type of road system that has less impact on the environment and, probably, more fun than being bottled up. in city traffic.
The numbers of micromobility and its spread
2018 and 2019 were crucial years for the phenomenon of micromobility spread and consolidated also in Italy.
Like all innovations, the promoters of these new modes of travel were the younger segments of the population, perhaps motivated precisely by the playful aspect that these vehicles bring with them.
In addition, a great boost to the spread of micro-mobility means is certainly to be attributed to the sharing services now widespread everywhere.
Whether it is pedal assisted bicycles or scooters, in fact, in all major European cities it is possible to use these services simply by installing an app on your phone and scanning a QR Code.
Surely among the main providers of these services should be mentioned:
- Jump by Uber (sharing of electric bicycles)
- Mobike (bike sharing)
- Helbiz and Lime (scooter sharing)
Among the manufacturers, however, the first to move in this direction were SEAT with its electric scooter launched in Spain, collaborating directly with Segway, and Volkswagen, which managed to create a folding scooter ready to be launched in various markets.
The boom of electric scooters
The electric scooter is the undisputed protagonist of this new mobility revolution.
E-scooters represent the new frontier of zero-impact emissions and, thanks to their incredible ease of use, have established themselves as the green vehicle par excellence for short-haul travel.
Fast (they can reach 20 km / h) and practical, electric scooters have spread throughout the Western world (starting from the United States), but, nevertheless, their use and regulation varies from state to state.
The situation in Italy
If the general overview of the e-scooter situation in Europe is varied, what can we say about the Italian one?
In our country there are more than 100,000 scooters in circulation: easy to transport both by metro and on foot, even in Italy e-scooters have required precise regulations that would allow their circulation in the city.
With Law 160 of 27 December 2019, the Ministry of Transport has perfected the previous provision of June which had given way to a phase of experimentation and study of Italian micro-mobility, specifying both the characteristics that the means must have in order to travel and those that the areas and the viable roads must have to be the subject of the experimentation.
Basically, these are the requirements:
- Electric vehicles cannot exceed 30 km / h
- They will be able to circulate only in urban areas, pedestrian areas, cycle paths or in lanes reserved for them
For now, the municipalities that have shown some interest in experimenting with electric mobility are few, but things are probably destined to evolve quickly.
Where is the world going? The avant-garde of micro-mobility
The phenomenon of micromobility seems to be an increasingly important part of our urban experience.
Many see in this emerging sector a real revolution in the way transport is understood within cities, preparing us for a more sustainable, greener and accessible to all future.
How, however, will this kind of mobility evolve?
Surely, in addition to an incredible and rapid development of technologies that allow the effective operation of these vehicles, the challenge that will have to be faced will concern the use that will be made of them in the world of commercial transport.
There micromobility can it be used for delivery services and deliveries?
And, above all, can it be made totally autonomous by introducing, for example, drones or means of transport on the ground controlled remotely?
The answer, for now, seems to be yes: there are many giants of the world economy who are investing in this sense and the results will not be long in coming.
After all, the advantages related to this new mobility system are many and all fall within the context of environmental and social sustainability towards which it has become increasingly necessary to move.