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Companies team to roll out smarter e-scooters in Ireland

The scooters are fitted with world-first centimetre-level positioning technology and artificial intelligence cameras, to help solve the dual issues of dangerous parking and illegal footpath riding.

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Algorithm segments road and footpath surfaces and identifies vehicles and people
Algorithm segments road and footpath surfaces and identifies vehicles and people

Irish start-up technology company Luna and shared scooter operator Zipp Mobility have partnered ahead of planned legislation for scooters in Ireland. The collaboration aims to better govern and control the use of shared scooters on city streets.

 

The companies plan to roll out next-generation scooters that ‘know’ where and how they are being parked and ridden.

 

Illegal footpath riding

 

According to the partners, the scooters are fitted with world-first centimetre-level positioning technology and artificial intelligence (AI) cameras, to help solve the dual issues of dangerous parking and illegal footpath riding.

 

Cities across the globe are demanding better fleet governance from operators, in response to complaints from pedestrians and vulnerable road users, and Zipp claims it is responding to this evolving municipal requirement through the deployment of Luna-enabled smart scooters.

 

“Shared scooter schemes will likely be coming to the streets of Dublin, Cork, Belfast and elsewhere on the island during 2021, so it’s important that local authorities leverage the learnings from other locations when implementing their own scooter schemes,” said Andrew Fleury, co-founder and CEO, Luna.

 

“We’ve seen problems arising in other locations due to pavement riding, and street clutter caused by bad parking, and we look forward to innovating alongside Zipp, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, and Smart Dublin, in order to overcome these smart city challenges.”

 

Luna’s centimetre-level accurate GPS technology has been developed to better govern and control shared scooter schemes particularly with regards to unacceptable scooter parking.

 

Luna-enabled scooters know, to an accuracy of up to 2cm, if they are parked in the appropriate location or not, the company claims.

“We have seen first-hand the requirement for better GPS capabilities in the industry, in order to better control rogue parking and other operational aspects of our business”

This order of magnitude improvement in scooter GPS accuracy will allow Zipp to prevent its scooters from being parked in any unauthorised locations, causing street clutter and trip hazards for pedestrians.

 

Additionally, Luna’s computer vision technology has been incorporated into the new scooters. This technology is intended to control illegal riding on footpaths and in other unauthorised areas. This is achieved through a range of smart cameras and “edge AI” algorithms that can detect pedestrians and understand what surface or lane the scooter is riding in.

 

Zipp said it will use this data to warn, slow down, fine or even ban users who misuse its scooters.

 

GPS capabilities

 

“We have seen first-hand the requirement for better GPS capabilities in the industry, in order to better control rogue parking and other operational aspects of our business. Moving from standard GPS accuracy of five- to10 metres, to hyper accuracy at the centimetre-level is a game changer, and we’re excited to be at the forefront of this industry transition,” added Charlie Gleeson, founder and CEO, Zipp Mobility.

 

“The computer vision technology is just as exciting and it gives us the ability to monitor and control footpath riding in real time, and this is going to make a massive difference to the services we can offer to local authorities as we continue to reach our goal of ‘mobility done right’.”

 

The smart scooter tech will be available on Irish and UK streets from April 2021.

 

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