The kick-scooter can become one of the leading means for a more sustainable urban mobility when it is safe and flexible.
The Turin pilot project of the DREEM electric scooter, financed by the Horizon 2020 program (101007085) and involving three important companies in the area, PUNCH Torino Spa – coordinator of the project itself – which has the role of leading the development and design of innovative propulsion systems and advanced technologies for the PUNCH Group, TO.TEM S.r.l, a start-up created by PUNCH Torino that develops micro mobility systems, and 5T Srl, an in-house providing company for the municipality City of Turin, Piedmont Region and Metropolitan City of Turin that deals with smart mobility services.
The pilot on the territory started in April and ended in July, involving 35 PUNCH Torino employees and 11 5T employees, most of them in the 35-44 age group. During the pilot, the testers were able to use the electric scooter and inflatable helmets developed within the project for a period of 7 days each. During the test days, the testers filled out a daily report on their usage experiences and were interviewed upon return of the scooter ride.
An interesting preliminary finding emerged from the results collected: 15 percent of the participants routinely use or have used a scooter (owned or shared) as a means of commuting in the past. But 28 percent of the total said they had never tried one.
The feedback collected was mostly positive, especially concerning safety aspects: most testers highlighted the stability of the vehicle and its perceived safety, thanks to the 3 largeshock-absorbing wheels. Rides were described as pleasant, even on uneven surfaces. The driving position with parallel feet – thanks to a larger deck – and the ability to carry the vehicle like a trolley were highly appreciated, as was the “Navigator” function of the app associated with the scooter while in use.
A few critical aspects also emerged, which will be useful for DREEM partners to calibrate the project, such as: the size and weight of the scooter in its “folded” mode, which does not facilitate short walking trips in case oftwo-way roads.
Federico Galliano, Public Affairs Manager of PUNCH Torino Spa and coordinator of the DREEM project says, “DREEM fits into our vision of sustainable mobility that is accessible to all European citizens, because it realizes a mobility tool that is accessible to all and sustainable, both from an energy and safety point of view.”
Alessandra Chianale, Growth & Sales Manager of TO.TEM said, “Participating in the DREEM project is a constructive and formative experience for TO.TEM. Using the scooters we produce for testing in Turin provided an organic collection of data, making the analysis highly meaningful. The feedback collected is a stimulus to improve the product and making it as aligned as possible with users’ expectations.”
For Fabrizio Arneodo, Chief Information and Technology Officer of 5T: “For us, it was very interesting to be involved in a project of this kind because user needs have always been the starting point of our work. Experiments that put us directly in touch with their experiences allow us to build more accessible and efficient mobility solutions. In particular, the DREEM project has allowed us to carefully evaluate the sustainability and safety aspects of mobility.”
PUNCH Torino S.P.A. is a company specialized in the design and development of innovative propulsion systems and advanced technologies such as Additive Manufacturing. Founded in 2005 by GM under the name General Motors Powertrain Europe, in February 2020 it became part of the PUNCH Group, a leading supplier for the development, integration and production of transmissions and powertrains. In May 2021, PUNCH Torino established the new company PUNCH Hydrocells S.r.L, dedicated to the development of hydrogen-powered solutions. In January 2022, the spin-off of PUNCH Torino’s Software and Controls division created the new company PUNCH Softronix. PUNCH’s ecosystem also includes two startups: AITEM, which focuses on artificial intelligence research, and To.Tem, which focuses on micro-mobility by designing and engineering electric scooters. PUNCH’s 700 employees in Turin are enthusiastically committed to innovative and sustainable engineering.
5T Srl is an in-house company with total public participation that works on behalf of the City of Turin, Piedmont Region and the Metropolitan City of Turin.
In its 30 years of operation, it has designed, built, and currently manages mobility systems and services in Turin and Piedmont. In recent years, it has developed a strong expertise in the area of Mobility as a Service and Smart Roads and is coordinating, on behalf of its partners, strategic programs to enable the MaaS ecosystem in Turin and Piedmont and launch systems and services for autonomous driving in urban areas.
The DREEM electric scooter stems from TO.TEM’s current LYNX and is designed to make urban travel safer: the vehicle’s stability is ensured by three large wheels and a wider platform. It also features rear turn signals to be clearly visible by other road users and a Collision Alert system integrated with a rear camera that connects to one’s smartphone. The inflatable helmet, made as part of the project, is also up to three times more protective than a traditional helmet. Finally, the vehicle user friendly: it is foldable and can be carried like a trolley thanks to a convenient handle, while the helmet can be easily deflated reducing it to pocket size.