e scooters

Zipp Mobility and UCD Energy Institute Conclude Research Partnership

Dublin, Ireland, 16 December 2022

Zipp Mobility (Zipp), the Irish micro-mobility operator headquartered at NovaUCD, and the UCD Energy Institute, today announced the successful conclusion of a collaborative research partnership focused on e-scooter safety.

The partnership explored the development and prototyping of ‘Firefly’, a smart lighting system to enhance e-scooter safety in urban environments.

Working in the UCD Energy Institute’s IELab, researchers from the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering explored the development and prototyped ‘Firefly’, a smart lighting system to enhance e-scooter safety in urban environments.

The ‘Firefly’ smart lighting system includes the following safety features:

  • The projection of red laser ‘rails’ to either side of the e-scooter to visually reserve road space for this micro-mobility vehicle
  • Automatic sensing and warning of road traffic approaching the rider from behind
  • Real-time adaptation of the headlight brightness and angle based on the speed of the scooter and the prevailing ambient lighting conditions.

This system was designed and built by Derek Sequeira, a graduate of the UCD ME programme in Electronic and Computer Engineering, under the supervision of Dr Paul Cuffe, an Assistant Professor in the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and a member of UCD Energy Institute.

Since its establishment in 2019, Zipp has become a significant player in the European e-scooter and e-bike sharing market with operations in the UK, Poland and Ireland.

Watch the Firefly video via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bKFriEZuYU

Dr Paul Cuffe, UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and UCD Energy Institute said, “I am delighted with what we have achieved in this collaboration. It’s been a very enjoyable exercise in practical engineering, working alongside one of our top-class graduates, Derek Sequeira, to design and build a smart lighting system that enhances both the safety and usability of a rental e-scooter. Smart accessory technologies can help e-scooter rental schemes to deliver a safe and sustainable public transport option for urban communities.

Charlie Gleeson, CEO and founder, of  Zipp Mobility, said, “We are delighted to have partnered with the UCD Energy Institute on this research collaboration.  Zipp’s mission is ‘mobility done right’ and having world-class technology that prioritises safety is a cornerstone of our approach. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to safety and our commitment to R&D activities in Ireland.”

Professor Andrew Keane, Director, of UCD Energy Institute said, “Choice around low carbon modes of transport will play a big role in reducing emissions from energy use. This collaboration with Zipp strongly aligns with the UCD Energy Institute’s strategy to deliver research supporting a net zero energy system in 2050, with transport being an area of increasing focus.”

This project was supported with funding from Enterprise Ireland through the innovation vouchers scheme, and Zipp Mobility.

ENDS 16 December 2022

For further information

Contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, NovaUCD, UCD Research and Innovation, e: miceal.whelan@ucd.ie.

More Information

Zipp Mobility is Ireland’s leading micro-mobility provider bringing a more sustainable micro-mobility sharing model to cities in the UK, Ireland and further afield. www.zippmobility.com

At NovaUCD, the hub for new ventures and entrepreneurs at University College Dublin, we nurture and support new high-tech companies, such as Zipp Mobility, as part of UCD’s mission.

At NovaUCD we provide purpose-built, state-of-the-art incubation facilities alongside a comprehensive business support programme for client companies. NovaUCD has been funded through a unique public-private partnership that includes AIB Bank, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers, UCD and Xilinx. www.novaucd.ie