Out-of-bounds test, continued


Since I did an out-of-bounds test with a Lime scooter back in March, I decided to try the same with some of the new companies which are now operating in Vienna, especially since some companies also display (supposedly) ridable scooters on their map out of their service area. Here are my results:

You can definitely unlock a Flash scooter that’s out of bounds and ride it. However, it should not be possible to end the rent outside of the service area. But there’s an exception to that… if the scooter goes low on battery (and it actually might have 28% or more left according to the app when it does that), there’s a chime and the ride is automatically ended no matter where you are. However, the scooter still keeps on going (or being unlocked if under 20%) until it comes to a stop, then it locks. This way a rent can be ended outside of the service area.

You can unlock and ride a Wind scooter as well. I didn’t see any further limitations, but you should not end a rent outside of the service area because that will cost you a fee of 25 EUR. I don’t know what happens, though, if you end a ride outside the service area and then another rider comes along and takes it back to the service area. That’s what I did today although support told me yesterday that you can’t rent a scooter which is placed outside the service area… seems there were wrong on that one.


You can unlock and ride a Tier scooter outside of the service area, but it’s painfully slow as long as it’s being ridden outside the service area… it’s governed to about 4 mph in this case, but it picks up speed as it enters the service area. According to their website, you can’t end a rental outside the service area. Today was a special case, however… the scooter I picked up was about half a mile outside the service area, but the battery was at 99%… the place where it was still was inside the service area yesterday, so I suppose they put it up there as fully charged and then the service area shrinked away. :wink: Before that, I picked up a Flash scooter (not yet upgraded to Circ) which was about a mile outside the service area and still had 52% charge, so the last ride can’t have ended because of low battery… wonder how the scooter got there. Maybe it’s a glitch, or some tolerance, or… I don’t know.


Something more about Circ (formerly Flash):
There is some kind of geofence for Circ scooters as well… but for it to engage, you have to be further away than 1.25 miles from the border of the nearest service area for about an hour. At that point, the scooter stays on, but there’s no power to the motor anymore. The scooter regains power when you get closer than 1.25 miles to the border of the service area. However, at that time, another glitch may occur where the scooter stays unlocked and rideable although the rent ends automatically. However, this may also have been caused by excessive renting time (it happened to me exatcly at the 2 hour mark).


Out-of-bounds scooters are being displayed on the map, but they can’t be rented. If you try, it says “Please bring the scooter into the service area to activate it”. But that’s hard to do because the scooter is locked though… I didn’t try to end the rent outside the service area, but at the border of the service area, it seems that it ends the ride by itself if you put the scooter down on its stand.


In the last weeks, Lime has changed their out-of-bounds policy for Vienna. Scooters that are left out of bounds now don’t convert into move jobs anymore, but stay ride-able unless they are low on battery in which case they become charge jobs just as they would if left inside the service area.


Some more updates…

Bird: Currently it’s generally not allowed to end a ride on a Bird scooter outside of the service area. However, sometimes you still see Birds out there, and then it’s possible to rent them. but like Tier, they are reduced in speed until they reach the service area.

Hive (I’m surprised I didn’t mention this company yet)…
Previously (last tested in mid-August) it wasn’t possible to end a ride outside the service area, safe for location glitches which basically come from Hive scooters fetching the location info from your phone rather than having a GPS unit of their own, and I think it also wasn’t possible to rent them there even though they were visible on the map. However, currently it’s perfectly fine to both start and end a ride outside of the service area, and you don’t even get a warning as with Lime if you end it there. As a conseqience, you see many Hive scooters outside of their service area in Vienna now, especially since they severely shrinked down their service area which is now the smallest of all scooter operators in Vienna.


Here’s an addendum for Hive… the scooters don’t stay on the map forever, they eventually disappear if they don’t get ridden. Specifically at midnight as I’ve seen, the whole map gets cleared, and at that point the scooters outside the service area disappear as well, and there’s no way for a rider to bring them back to life. You can scan them all you want or punch in their numbers, but they won’t be rideable anymore. I don’t know what exactly it takes to bring them back however… maybe a rider can bring them back inside of the service area, or they can only be brought back by Hive employees, or only by being charged… I don’t know exactly. I do know that I previously brought back several Hive scooters on the map inside a small service area they had put up around Franz-Jonas-Platz for a few days, so I suppose this only works inside the service area.