CDAIT IoT Sensor 11.22.2021

Posted November 22, 2021

Micromobility and IoT

Angelina Kim, The Center for the Development and Application of the Internet of Things (CDAIT)

            Micromobility, the use of bicycles, e-scooters, mopeds, e-bikes and other smaller transportation vehicles, has bloomed in the past five years and despite a decrease in ridership due to COVID19, the industry is expected to make a full recovery and grow even more. It is almost impossible to venture out into urban environments and not encounter people using e-scooters or electric bikes or see e-scooters perched on the sidewalk in a row until someone uses them. Aside from individual ownership, shared micromobility services, supported by transportation companies such as Uber, Lime, Byrd, and Lyft, make micromobility vehicles accessible to all with a phone and use of QR code. As with many other industries, the Internet of Things is able to transform this sphere. A report by Ericsson predicts that the micro-mobility market could be worth 12 billion by $2027 compared to its current valuation at $3.5 billion. The demand for bikes in the United States is also on the rise.

Dynamic Pricing and Reduction in Emissions

            Use of IoT can inform the micromobility providers of peak use times, both in terms of location and exact times. This allows them to adjust pricing based on the information gathered and also manage their fleet of transportation vehicles. For example, if a certain area is identified as attracting heavy traffic, then more e-scooters could be dropped off in that location. Use of these vehicles during peak times also allows for emissions reductions through avoidance of use of traditional transportation such as cars. Such reduction can be extremely beneficial for cities that struggle with congestion and localized air pollution.

Fleet Management

 The Internet of Things can also aid in allowing other types of companies to manage the entirety of their transportation vehicles or their fleet. This can be done through GPS sensors, motion sensors, and condition sensors that measure and transmit data such as battery life, wear and tear on vehicles and impending system malfunction. Companies can know ahead of time when a vehicle is not working as it should and can order maintenance before the vehicle shuts down completely or mid-service with a customer. In addition, if a vehicle ends up lost, then IoT devices could aid in locating the vehicle.


            When it comes to micromobility, regulatory enforcement comes in many forms. Micromobility vehicles are subject to local laws about transportation. One of the major forms is compliance with local ordinances. Each locality may have its different variation of laws as it relates to specific types of vehicle. For example, the city of Atlanta banned e-scooter use at night following safety concerns, and others have also prevented use on sidewalks. IoT devices can help manage this through the use of OTA firmware that remotely updates code to fit alongside city regulations, or applicable state and federal regulation. IoT devices and sensors can also be used in theft detection and management. The sensor can notice irregular movements such as being put into a car and moved at the car’s speed and can trigger an emergency response such as a large noise. Yet another way is to detect power sources and trigger a response if one of the components of the scooter is stolen.

Future Directions

            An Ericsson report from earlier this year projected growth for IoT in micromobility markets and potential use applications. The data collected from the micromobility IoT could be shared with city officials and leaders. This collaboration could improve public spaces through changes in city planning efforts like transportation investments. IoT in micromobility could aid prolonging the lifespan of e-scooters, increase cost-effectiveness, and increase the accuracy of dynamic pricing with results in financial gain for micromobility operators. IoT is an important component of the current micromobility market and will continue to add to the benefits of micromobility.


For Further Reading:
Future of Micromobility Ridership and Revenue after a Crisis

Defining Micromobility

Micromobility: Here to Stay

Cellular IoT to Drive Growth and Gains in Electric Bikes and Scooters

Accelerating the Future of Transportation

Micro-mobility could be €12 billion IoT opportunity by 2027

How IoT Tech Can Help Save the Fledgling Scooter Sharing Industry

IoT on wheels: Micromobility's connected two-wheelers

Improving the economics of micro-mobility with better connectivity

How IoT Helps Overcoming Challenges Faced By Micro-Mobility Industry

The Micromobility Revolution: How Bikes And Scooters Are Shaking Up Urban Transport Worldwide