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Explore: A connected helmet system for dockless electric scooter and bike share that people would actually want to use.

Explore works by incentivizing riders to bring their helmet with them every time they ride a scooter.

Photo of Eu-wen Ding
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The Problem

  • Dockless E-Scooters & E-Bikes are amazing services. They are good products that people want to use, BUT there is a personal and public safety issue.
  • Few scooter riders wear helmets (anecdotal evidence suggests < 1 in 10 scooter riders wear one). Coupled with their relative inexperience with those vehicles + lack of adequate paved bike lanes, accidents, collisions, and scooter related injuries are on the rise.
  • Many riders report that they would wear a helmet if one was conveniently available. Helmet sharing as an idea has been tried, but unfortunately helmets do not lend themselves well to the sharing economy as does the bike or scooter. Several helmet sharing pilots have been attempted, but all have failed. 
  • The Scooter companies see this as a big problem as well. Some already give out helmets for free. Unfortunately this does not seem to have had much of an impact on the helmet usage rate, and the companies have no idea how often their users use the helmets they received for free. 

The Idea

  • Rather than try to compel riders to wear a helmet (legislation, fines etc.) or helmet sharing, Explore makes a smart but simple and affordable helmet that riders will naturally want to carry with them. 
  • Explore's Smart Connected Helmet System enables scooter companies to track when riders are wearing a helmet, and provide riders with incentives and rewards for doing so. 
  • As riders are incentivized by both their own safety and the "carrot" of a small reward, they would start carrying around their own helmets. The incentive reinforces safe behavior, normalizing the practice of carrying a helmet and turning it into a habit preventing severe injuries from happening, and saving lives. 

How It Works

  • Explore will build simple, stylish, and affordable helmets that come with passive electronic chips integrated into the helmet.
  • Working in partnership with cities and the scooter companies, the helmets will get distributed to riders either via purchase or deposit. (many Scooter companies already provide free helmets to their active users. Explore's system would be a superior, more effective system that provides trackable usage data, and can be cheaper to run as well)
  • When these riders rent a scooter, they will also scan their helmet in the app, unlocking a small discount on their ride rewarding them for wearing a helmet.


  • Riders win because they get to make their own choice as to how they want to ride, but are incentivized towards safer practices. 
  • Cities win because of lowered incidences of injuries and collisions. Also, if riders are wearing helmets, they might be more likely to ride on the street/bike lane rather than on the sidewalk. 
  • Scooter companies win because they are actively supporting the safety of their riders, making it that much more likely to keep their customers as long term riders because they feel that the service is indeed safe. If Explore's system is effective, this can also replace their current helmet giveaway program.
  • Explore wins because we are in the business of making and selling helmets! 

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Users are anyone who uses the dockless E-Scooter services frequently (~> Once/Week). Other key stakeholders would be the E-Scooter companies, the city, and Explore itself.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users
  • Prototype - you have built a prototype and tested it with potential users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Our team has built and shipped tens of thousands of smart bike helmets. We are the team behind the Lumos Helmet. The worlds first smart bike helmet with integrated lights, brake, and turn signals. ( Named “Best Bike Helmet For Commuters” by Business Insider and SLATE, Lumos is also the first bike helmet to be sold at the Apple Store. We have deep expertise in integrating technology into helmets in a way that is safe and appealing to riders. It’s what we do!

Size of your team or organization

  • 11-50

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

How it would work/be deployed: 1. Key first step is to work with the city and its officials to make sure there is alignment as to what success looks like, how the pilot will be run, and what laws or regulations need to be navigated if any. 2. Next is identifying an E-Scooter company willing to make the effort to innovate for the safety of their riders and trial this idea. 3. Explore will assign 2 team members to dedicate their efforts full-time to run this pilot and make it a success. 4. Using the Challenge Funding we would build several thousand Explore connected helmets for the pilot, and run the pilot with Explore Pilot Testers over 3 – 4 months in Miami. 5. At the end of the 3 – 4 month pilot period, Explore will collate the results. We would then review it with the city and companies. If the results are successful then Miami could be the first “Success Story” in Scooter Rider Safety for other cities and scooter companies to emulate and scale accordingly.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Ultimate success = Reduced rate of collisions, accidents, injuries, and death. It would be difficult to get enough data from such a short/limited pilot to answer this question. Instead, good proxy measures for success would be: 1. # of times helmets are used/scanned 2. Average # of times each helmet was used/scanned per month. 3. Comparison of frequency of helmet use of group vs control group over X months. 4. Comparison of injury rates between helmet use group vs control group


Join the conversation:

Photo of Diana Avart

Hi Eu-wen,

Thanks for submitting this idea! Please be sure to take into consideration that Pittsburgh does not yet have any E-Scooters, so the logistics of bringing them to the PGH market would need to be incorporated into this idea if it is selected to move forward.

- Diana, Facilitator

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