Crowdsourcing Parking Data for Micromobility Vehicles
As dockless micromobility services become more commonplace, so too are instances of mis-parked bikes and scooters, and associated complaints from other travelers and residents. Concerns over problems with parking are responsible for delaying or limiting the scale of dockless services in some cities, which limits the utility of these services to travelers. In a preliminary scan of major US cities with dockless bike-sharing and scooter sharing, it was found that most cities have a web page dedicated to the regulations and guidelines about how shared vehicles should be parked. They generally direct people to contact the respective companies in case of a bike or scooter parking infraction and provide phone numbers and/or email addresses to contact them.
There is no consensus among cities on what the best method is to collect information regarding bike and scooter parking infractions. The methods currently in use include reporting to the city or directly to the offending companies, in most cases by phone or email. Further, there is no way to track whether the companies are resolving complaints about infractions in a timely manner.
This project will develop a mobile app that streamlines the reporting of mis-parked dockless scooters and bikes, relaying data to companies responsible and/or local governments while generating a data set that can support a variety of research questions. The proposed app will allow users to easily collect and report essential data to a company whose bike or scooter is mis-parked. The data reported will include:
- Vehicle location, automatically detected by the user’s phone
- Vehicle ID number (read from a QR code or barcode on the vehicle)
- Type of problem (e.g. blocking ADA access, not upright, outside of designated parking area)
- Optionally, a photo of the vehicle showing the problem
It is suggested that the initial development should happen as a web-app as it will be quicker to deploy since native apps also have to go through a certification process on the respective app stores. Once the UI for the application is finalized, tested and established, a React-Native mobile app may be considered as an option for power-users who would prefer speed and additional features available through login.
The specific research objectives to be advanced through this research are to develop a mobile app that facilitates reporting of mis-parked micromobility vehicles to companies responsible and local authorities and to collect data on mis-parked bikes and scooters from initial user deployment of the app.
The expected deliverables of this project include a mobile app, a short video introducing the mobile app and how to use it, and a written report documenting the work completed throughout the project.
App Functionality & Deliverables
The app starts by detecting the phone’s location but allows the user to reposition the pin as needed.
Users can select one or more violations for the bike/scooter, and identify which company’s vehicle it is.
This portal can be used to see the submitted reports
This is the app used to submit reports of parking violations
|Principal Investigator||Don Mackenzie, UW|
|Funding Source||C2SMART Center: $82,500|
University of Washington: $41,250
|Total Project Cost||$123,750|
|USDOT Award #||69A3551747124|
|Start and End Dates||03/01/2019 – 8/31/2020|
|Implementation of Research Outcomes||App will be tested on users in Seattle. App will be marketed to local DOTs and directly to residents of target cities.|
|Impacts/Benefits of Implementation||Improperly parked vehicles are a leading objection raised by residents with respect to dockless bikesharing and scooter-sharing services. The app will increase the accountability of service providers while providing residents with an easy way to make their concerns heard. Ultimately, this is expected to facilitate the broader adoption of dockless micromobility services.|