[Objective] Measuring the impact of user experience in the adoption of new technologies is key to unleash their full potential and optimise the benefits they can bring. Related to micromobility, this mode has presented itself as a deal-breaker to solve some of our most pressing challenges. However, considerations still need to be made for micromobility to remain an option in the mobility ecosystem, safety being stated as one critical aspect to consider to increase user engagement. RideSafeUM was born in 2022 in response to these needs. This abstract presents RideSafeUM’s experience in adoption levels, and the extracted relationship with user experience. [Methodology] RideSafeUM designed a computer vision and geofencing system that integrates an app, through which real-time information of regulations is given to users as they ride, and a dashboard, where cities collect and analyse received circulation data, to improve micromobility safety. Pilot tests took place between September and December 2022 in Barcelona, Rome and Thessaloniki with very different deployment strategies impacting micromobility users’ experience. Gathered data from qualitative and quantitative data sources included technological and operational matters: technological evaluation enabled measuring the performance of the technology, impacting on users experience in the way they see it useful and reliable. The operational analysis included quantitative and qualitative information to draw conclusions in reference to users’ satisfaction. Comparing pilot tests user engagement with satisfaction and the different elements of the three deployment strategies has brought some light to the relationship between user experience and willingness for new technology adoption. [Results] Although the technological evaluation yielded similar results for deploying RideSafeUM in Barcelona, Rome, and Thessaloniki, adoption rates differed significantly. In Thessaloniki, where the solution was integrated into the local operator Thessbike's app and fleet, the adoption rate was much higher than in Barcelona and Rome. Despite making the same marketing and dissemination efforts, and the three cities sharing the same micromobility concerns, the Greek pilot test recorded 1,421 trips with a lower user base, while the latter two cities only attracted 98 and 89 trips, respectively, with stand-alone applications. [Limitations] This study has limitations that should be considered. Pilot tests were conducted in a limited number of cities, which may not be representative of other regions. Additionally, early stages of the project made it difficult to collect sufficient user feedback and extract statistical conclusions that fit a traditional scientific approach. Furthermore, the impact of social science factors such as marketing, branding, and trust on user experience is difficult to measure using traditional scientific approaches. [Exclusivity] This paper presents novel findings on the adoption of micromobility technologies. Specifically, the study shows that adoption rates are influenced by factors beyond safety concerns, such as the integration of the technology with existing infrastructure and the approach taken by councils and operators, previously just intuited. These findings, if quantified, will provide important insights for stakeholders involved in the development and implementation of micromobility solutions. While previous research has explored the adoption of innovative technologies, this study offers a unique perspective by examining the role of specific social science factors in the adoption of micromobility. [Conclusions] Comparing the three deployment strategies with adoption results revealed that micromobility users are more likely to adopt new technologies when approached by councils and operators rather than technology creators. This approach leads to a more reliable and easier-to-use technology, as integration matters are considered beforehand, and they can focus on simply enjoying the benefits innovation bring. The results also suggest safety is not the primary factor for micromobility users when engaging with innovative solutions. Overall, it can be concluded micromobility users prioritise satisfactory user experience over other factors, even if they recognise the solution's potential to address their current challenges.
Ing. Elena Cristóbal, Innovation Project Manager, CARNET Barcelona