E-scooter simulator development and applications
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Although electric scooters have brought a lot of convenience to people's lives, the laws and regulations related to it are just being developed, and the number of people injured by electric scooters is increasing every year. Most of the published literature on electric scooters is from a safety perspective, while this research is more from the perspective of people's riding behavior. To better understanding people's riding behavior, the ZouSim E-Scooter simulator was built. The design process of the simulator can be divided into two parts, hardware development and software development. The hardware development includes the construction of the simulator base and the applications of the measurement sensors. The software development includes the use of Arduino for data collection and transmission, and the use of Unity3D for scenario creating. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, this research only includes 25 human subjects, and all subjects experienced the same scenarios to ensure the validity of the data. The collected data shows that when the subjects were not educated, 60 percent of them chose to ride on the sidewalk. After being educated, only 3 percent of them chose to ride on the sidewalk. This shows that electric scooter education is effective on most riders. Upon the completion of the test, each subject was given a post-simulation survey. From the survey results, 76 percent of the human subjects admitted that they had never worn a helmet when riding an electric scooter, and only 8 percent of the test subjects said that they always wear a helmet when riding an electric scooter. Moreover, 56 percent of the test subjects said that even though they knew that riding on the sidewalk might have potential risks to pedestrians, they still preferred to ride on the sidewalk because they were uncomfortable with riding on the street next to vehicles. Policy makers could consider this preference in formulating rules and policies instead of regulating E-Scooters solely because they are motorized.