Lime believes that hackers somehow managed to swap the audio files on eight of the e-scooters.
Lime, a Brisbane-based scooter manufacturer, has been testing its E-Scooters on the streets of Brisbane but sadly, the gadgets are in the news for all the wrong reasons. Reportedly, eight e-scooters manufactured by Lime have been taken off the streets after users heard them saying offensive and objectionable things.
Lime claims that the scooters have been hacked to say such things and this is a “disappointing” incident. The official statement from Lime read:
“It’s not smart, it’s not funny and is akin to changing a ringtone. It’s disappointing that someone has taken this opportunity to poke fun at members of the community in a hurtful way.”
Users of hacked scooters are posting about their experience on YouTube. According to one such post, as soon as the user unlocked the scooter, it said: “Okay, if you’re going to ride my ass then please pull my hair, okay?.” In another video, the scooter says: “Don’t take me around, because I don’t like to be riden.”
News on Channel Seven TV station in Brisbane also recorded and posted footages of Lime scooters playing voice messages. Such as in one of the footages, the scooter says to the rider after the journey has finished:
“No, where you go?”
That’s not all! The hacked scooters can be heard making all sorts of offensive comments, and a majority of these comments can be termed as sexually explicit. Lime believes that hackers somehow managed to swap the audio files on eight of the e-scooters, which is why the scooters running on Brisbane’s streets are making such suggestive comments.
— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) April 22, 2019
The company further stated that they were already working to get the scooters back to their original state. Lime’s representative Nelson Savanh explains that this could be the work of “vandals” and that the company is currently inspecting the entire fleet of gadgets to assess how many of them have been tampered.
“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,” Savanh said.
It must be noted that at the moment, Lime’s e-scooters are available on trial and awaiting approval from the city’s council for a license to operate officially on Brisbane’s streets. There are in total eight companies that have submitted applications for rentable e-scooters to operate in Brisbane while only two will be awarded the license.
This month, Lime was to issue a software update for its scooters operating around the world because of a technical glitch that led to injuring the riders. The scooters were malfunctioning as these abruptly slam on the brakes when riding at full speed downhill.