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Electric scooter company Voi is using technology from Luna to sense pedestrians, recognise pavements and react accordingly to ensure both rider and pedestrian safety.
Europan e-scooter operator Voi Technology and micromobility start-up Luna have teamed to integrate computer vision for e-scooters that will help detect pedestrians and pavements.
According to the partners, the technology, which will be integrated on Voi’s fleet, will enable its scooters to ‘sense’ their environment and react accordingly to protect riders and pedestrians.
With the deployment of this technology, Voi claims it is first scooter operator in the world to offer real-time pedestrian detection, similar to that available in high-end cars. The onus to date has been on pedestrians to detect, avoid and navigate around scooters.
The technology, which relies on high-end camera sensors and edge artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, ensures a ‘sophisticated’ level of pedestrian detection, allowing an e-scooter to understand if it is in a heavily pedestrianised area and react accordingly based on predefined parameters.
It will also equip e-scooters to detect the kind of surface or lane they are riding on (bike lane, pavement, road), and again react accordingly depending on the city safety parameters, reports Voi.
According to Luna and Voi, their global partnership will also address other smart city technologies for shared micromobility as they bid to improve the operational efficiency of e-scooter fleets.
“As shared e-scooters continue to be rolled out in cities across the world, they need to become smarter and safer – for the benefit of riders, pedestrians and cities”
As part of a wider partnership with Voi, Luna will also provide the Swedish micromobility company with precise positioning technology for the purposes of controlling parking to centimetre-level accuracy in designated areas, helping to remove street clutter that could be especially hazardous to people who are visually impaired.
“We are embracing this kind of pioneering technology so that we can help create cities for living, and to ensure that municipal authorities feel confident in including e-scooters as part of their smart city strategies,” said Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CEO of Voi Technology.
“We’ve covered more than 30 million rides to date and are acutely aware of the issues that surround e-scooter safety. We believe in educating riders, but also in providing them with the kind of technology that supports them to use e-scooters responsibly. Luna’s solution answers some of the big challenges our sector has faced since day one, including pavement riding and street clutter.”
Trials commence as part of a first phase global roll-out this week in Northampton in the UK, which will focus on pedestrian detection. This first phase, which focuses on data collection, will see the local Voi operations team use Luna’s technology to enable scooters to learn their environment.
Once this phase is complete, Luna’s technology will be integrated into Voi’s e-scooters for public use in the city. Northampton’s e-scooter trial is part of a UK wide government-led initiative to introduce e-scooters to the public as a safe, carbon-neutral and socially-distanced mode of transport.
“As shared e-scooters continue to be rolled out in cities across the world, they need to become smarter and safer – for the benefit of riders, pedestrians and cities,” added Andrew Fleury, co-founder and CEO, Luna.
“With this trial, we look forward in particular to exploring how computer vision equipped e-scooters can improve the experience for riders, pedestrians, vulnerable road users, the Voi operations team, as well as local authorities themselves.”
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