Ever ridden a bicycle into a high curb and been thrown over the handlebars? That's what has been happening to riders of Lime scooters in Switzerland. The California-based company has been forced to pull its e-scooters from streets in Zurich after a dangerous glitch caused abrupt braking mid-ride.
The sudden braking caused riders to be thrown off, causing serious injury in some cases. According to reports in Swiss media, injuries as a result of the glitch include a dislocated shoulder and abrasions. Lime scooters are able to travel at speeds of up to 15 mph.
The scooters have also been taken off the streets of Basel, where doctor Matthias Meier was left with a broken elbow when the front brake locked on him, sending him head-first through the air. He had to have an operation, several days in the hospital and physical therapy for his injury.
Lime says it is investigating what seems to be a software glitch. The company also promised 15 minutes of free ride time as compensation to all customers via a code that can be redeemed in the Lime app.
In an email to users (translated from German), Lime said: "After first hints, we are currently examining whether a software update could be causing a reboot during the ride, triggering the theft protection. We have already taken measures to ensure this will never happen again. Nonetheless, we are testing each device thoroughly to ensure that no software or hardware issues remain."
The timing could not be worse for Lime, as it continues its aggressive European expansion. Last year, its e-scooters landed in several cities including Paris, Prague, Vienna, Brussels, Berlin, Stockholm and Warsaw. Lime had initially planned on being operational in 25 European cities by the end of 2018, but only managed to get up and running in 18.
Some countries, such as the UK, have been tougher to break into due to strict laws that require e-scooters to pass a Ministry of Transport (MOT) test - an impossibility for an e-scooter.
Lime claims to have 100 million riders in more than 130 markets. Ride-sharing giant, Uber, is a major investor in the tech startup.
What do you think about the glitch? Would it stop you from riding a Lime e-scooter in the future? Let us know!