Eight Lime scooters have been hacked in Australia, so they say sexual and offensive things.
The scooters were hacked so that the audio which would normally give the rider instructions before beginning or ending a ride was re-recorded to say things such as “Okay, if you’re going to ride my ass then please pull my hair, okay?”
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Lime has called the incident ‘disappointing’. Several of the hacked videos appeared in YouTube videos before the micro mobility company was able to take them off the streets.“Don’t take me around, because I don’t like to be ridden,” one scooter shouts.
Hacked scooters shout at pedestrians
A video shared by local news station Channel Seven and posted to Twitter shows a fleet of scooters loudly blasting their hacked messages which are hard to understand due to the overlapping noise. Lime has had a rough start to their trial period in Brisbane.
Brisbane: Lime Scooter users are reporting bizarre voice messages when connecting and disconnecting from rides. Video: Josh Clarke. https://t.co/OyAjjYtcq8#7NEWSpic.twitter.com/IQ66yrF4tr
— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) April 22, 2019
The company spoke to local newspaper the Brisbane Times expressing their dismay at news of the hack.
“We are aware that eight Lime scooters in Brisbane have had their audio files changed by vandals recording over the existing audio file with inappropriate and offensive speech,” Nelson Savanh, Lime’s public affairs manager for the Australian state of Queensland, said.
“It’s not smart, it’s not funny and is akin to changing a ringtone,” she added.
Lime brakes bones in Aus and NZ
It is unclear if Lime will continue to operate in Brisbane after the trial period. Its pilot program had a bad starter when wheels of the scooters locked up for no reason sending riders flying over the handlebars which in some cases required medical attention including stitches and treatment for broken bones. A software update eventually fixed the problem.
Electric scooters have taken the world by storm both ones individually owned and others that work in the micro mobility fleets like Lime. However, not everyone is a fan. The scooters are able to go pretty fast, a Lime scooter, for example, can go up to 25 km/h while a privately owned electric scooter can be hacked to give you a top speed of 32 km/h.
This is all without needing a helmet and while treading the fine line between either taking over the bike path or straying onto the road.
Madrid puts a foot down
Micro-mobility such as Lime and other transport services like app connected electric bikes have taken off around the world the market in Europe alone is estimated to be worth 1.5 billion dollars.
Their entrance hasn’t been smooth though. Soon after Lime was introduced to cities in California public officials began issuing cease and desist letters which have followed the of many around the world.
They have been labeled a public nuisance and in some cases outright banned.
While offering a fast and efficient mode of transport around cities others say they cause havoc when users leave them piled on sidewalks making it near impossible to walk around let alone navigate with a physical impairment.