We founded Lime two years ago after examining how people get to and from where they need to be and exploring if there was a better way.
We asked why our communities are designed around cars and looked at the options that existed.
Then we set about building solutions that could complement the transportation systems communities around us while enhancing affordability, access, and sustainability.
We are constantly assessing our product, evaluating the unique needs of our communities, listening to rider feedback and, in turn, iterating to improve. A prevailing truth about innovation also applies to us:
• things don't always go as planned, we have missteps, and we have to find out why mistakes happen so
• we can fix them, learn, and adjust to them ultimately to provide a better service.
We place the highest priority on rider and community safety and we are intentional in the efforts we undertake to ensure it.
One way is through our vehicle design: Lime scooters are equipped with multiple locking mechanisms, each working together to brake or slow the scooter - the redundancy is intentional and it's designed to create the safest possible product.
However, a few weeks ago, we became aware of a software issue affecting scooters in our New Zealand vehicle fleet where one of the mechanisms could cause excessive brake force or "locking," on the front wheel to occur, resulting in a scooter stopping unexpectedly.
The incidents were rare - less than a fraction of a percent of all Lime trips in New Zealand have been impacted by this issue - just 0.0086 percent.
But we also know that each trip is not really a number - it's a rider and a member of the community - so any case is one too many.
We contacted each one of the riders impacted offering support and learning more about what happened.
At the same time, we immediately removed every single scooter in New Zealand that was
Our teams have been working around the clock to rigorously assess our fleet while working to pinpoint the cause of this issue and rectify it swiftly.
We hired a world-renowned, multi-disciplinary engineering and scientific consulting firm to act as an independent expert to determine the cause of the problem.
Those experts helped us rule out the possibility of a hardware issue, and identify a likely firmware issue impacting the electrical subsystems (ECU) in some scooters.
We have developed a series of updates for the firmware and are confident in their efficacy. We have already rolled out some of the firmware fixes, which immediately resulted in a material reduction of occurrences.
We are also proactively working with consumer protection agencies around the world to ensure we meet their rigorous safety expectations.
Where we stand today
The firmware update designed to resolve the potential front wheel locking issue has already been installed across all Lime scooters throughout New Zealand. We will continue to deploy firmware fixes to ensure there are no additional causes of the malfunction, and to ensure the issue is completely resolved.
We remain proud to partner with the forward-thinking Auckland Council to deliver our innovative mobility solution and continue to stay in close communication and collaboration.
Our goals are the same: to provide the Auckland community with reliable, affordable clean transportation options that are—above all—safe.
To date, over 185,000 riders in the community have taken nearly one million rides in Auckland alone.
Based on our rider surveys, this has prevented over 300,000 vehicle trips from being taken, saving on both pollution and congestion coming from city streets.
While we remain steadfastly confident in the safety of our service, we understand that Lime scooters will never become as ubiquitous as innovations like the automobile if the community doesn't share that confidence.
We apologise to our riders and the Auckland community for this issue and the disruption in service and remain vigilant to earn the community's trust.
Mitchell Price is Lime's Director of Government Affairs and Strategy for Asia Pacific