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MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc - PhD Position #CD22-08: Urban road safety: towards a simulation tool for assessing electric micromobility risks.


Job Information

Université Gustave Eiffel
Research Field
Engineering » Communication engineering
Engineering » Computer engineering
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Application Deadline
Type of Contract
Job Status
Hours Per Week
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND
Marie Curie Grant Agreement Number
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

The EU Green Deal will induce drastic changes in urban mobility. Micromobility will become one of the leading transport modalities in the cities of tomorrow. The use of electric Personal Mobility Devices (ePMDs) will increase, and new types of ePMDs will probably emerge. Their use positively impacts the sustainability of transport and reduces traffic congestion compared to internal combustion engine vehicles with greater mass and dimensions.

Nowadays, the most commonly used ePMDs are e-bikes and e-scooters (kick scooters powered by an electric motor). The case of e-scooters is particularly problematic: according to recent accidental reports, the injury rates for e-scooters per mile travelled are 175 to 200 times higher than for motor vehicles [1]. These statistics are even more alarming, considering that ePMDs are becoming more widespread, mainly for urban transportation and daily commuting. In large cities, many e-bikes and e-scooters are used through sharing systems: these shared vehicles are frequently used by people with different profiles (age, gender) and different purposes (commuting, leisure, shopping, and sometimes delivery). Some of their users have a limited experience and knowledge of the vehicle and the local traffic, further increasing their vulnerability. In addition, the OECD Safe Micro-mobility report pointed out that the speed zones and bands used in cities for some micromobility modes amplify the accident risk. In [3], the authors confirmed that e-scooters are less stable than bicycles: many become unstable and difficult to control in the 10−20 km/h speed range, a significant portion of the low legislated riding speed. This instability could be due to the overall design of these vehicles, for example, the smaller wheel diameter of e-scooters that produces a lower stabilising gyroscopic effect. Single-vehicle crashes (i.e., an isolated fall that did not involve another person or vehicles) account for 83% of these injury crashes, with 8% involving a pedestrian or another scooter [2]. Another survey of e-scooters traffic accidents showed that 92% (165/180) of single-vehicle crashes occurred due to skidding, braking, swerving, or hitting a curb, drain, or pothole. This type of accident is caused by poor vehicle management in unsafe situations [4]. Various types of e-scooters exist on the market, some with a saddle. It has to be noted that the braking system of the e-scooters differs among the manufacturers: one or two brake levers and sometimes a fender foot brake for those that use a mechanical braking system, a push button for those that use an electronic brake. The ergonomics of the commands are also different among the manufacturers. Some of these configurations could be sub-optimal, and the rider using a shared vehicle will have to adapt to the specific configuration installed.

This thesis project aims to pave the way for studies aiming at evaluating the impact of the ergonomics of the braking system on emergency braking and avoidance manoeuvres. Such studies are, by definition, unsafe and could be realised in real only by stuntmen or by professional riders. Using a simulator is the way to conduct studies with non-professional users. Fixed base e-scooter simulators already exist, but they are not suitable for studying situations with high dynamics. In the longer term, the developed dynamic e-scooter simulator could be adapted to test a new type of ePMDs.

The PhD student will first work on refining an existing e-scooter simulator prototype developed at Univ-Eiffel by the TS2/SATIE/MOSS team. During the second phase, he will design and setup an experiment to study the simulator's realism as perceived by a panel of participants. After a tuning phase, he will design and setup a second experiment to measure the dynamics of the initiation of emergency braking manoeuvres using different e-scooters braking system configurations. During the test, data will be collected on both physics and physiology.

The thesis lies at the crossroads between many research areas: tilting vehicle dynamics and stability, the study of emergency braking systems from a functional and ergonomics point of view, virtual reality and human-machine interaction, instrumentation, and data analysis of multi-sensors. The PhD work will be conducted in collaboration with UniFi-DIEF, which has a strong background in tilting vehicle dynamics, development assessment of braking assistance devices, accident reconstruction and simulation, and riding simulators. UniFi also investigated the effects on the safety-in-numbers concept, which could be used to assess whether a higher diffusion of ePMDs could partially mitigate their mortality due to increased awareness of the other road users.


[1] Kevin Rix, Nora J. Demchur, David F. Zane, Lawrence H. Brown, Injury rates per mile of travel for electric scooters versus motor vehicles, The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, Volume 40, 2021, Pages 166-168.

[2] Qingyu Ma, Hong Yang, Alan Mayhue, Yunlong Sun, Zhitong Huang, Yifang Ma, E-Scooter safety: The riding risk analysis based on mobile sensing data, Accident Analysis & Prevention, Volume 151, 2021, 105954.

[3] Paudel, Milan & Yap, Fook Fah. Front steering design guidelines formulation for e-scooters considering the influence of sitting and standing riders on self-stability and safety performance. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering. 235. 2021.


Research Field
Computer science
Education Level
Bachelor Degree or equivalent
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.

Additional Information

  • High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel
  • Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).
  • Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.
  • International mobility will be mandatory
  • An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.
  • Access to dedicated CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.
Eligibility criteria

Applicants must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must fulfil the transnational mobility rule: incoming applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 previous years.
  • One application per call per year is allowed.
  • Applicants must be available full-time to start the programme on schedule (November 1st 2023).
  • Application rules are enforced by the French doctoral system which specifies a standard duration of 3 years for a full-time PhD together with the MSCA standards and the OTM-R European rules as follows.
  • Citizens of any nationality may apply to the programme.
  • There is no age limit.
Selection process

Please refer to the Guide for Applicants available on the CLEAR-Doc website.

Additional comments
  • The First step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor.
  • International Mobility: an international mobility to the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale (DIEF) of the Universita degli studi Firenze (Italy) is planned. For more information, please contact the PhD supervisor.
  • Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer.
  • There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply.
  • Support service is available during every step of the application process by email:
Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
Université Gustave Eiffel
Île de France
Postal Code
5, Boulevard Descartes


5, Boulevard Descartes
Postal Code