Foldable Electric Scooter
Electric scooters have disrupted micromobility, causing injuries and a fair load of resentment among pedestrians. Oct 10

Swedish company Voi Technology and Irish startup Luna Systems have begun integrating computer vision technology so scooters know whether they’re riding on a footpath, a cycle lane or a street. Further down the line, this information could prompt riders to change their behaviour, get off sidewalks and park in the right areas.

After testing it among employees, Voi introduced the technology for public use in the English city of Northampton this summer, and is now gradually rolling it out across other European cities, including Brussels from September 8.

"With computer vision, e-scooters can be trained to see and recognise situations that are hazardous. This world-first pilot will set new standards of safety for this new form of transport," Voi CEO Fredrik Hjelm said in a statement, adding that the move would benefit riders, pedestrians and authorities alike.

Rival operators are developing similar innovations. Last year, Lime started experimenting with a technology that relies on speed and vibration patterns to identify sidewalk riding.

A survey of more than 100 riders at an emergency room in Washington DC, showed that nearly three in five were hurt while riding on a sidewalk, including in places where it was prohibited.

How does it work?
The newly-fitted cameras on Voi e-scooters are trained to recognise whether a device is on a footpath, a bike lane, or a busy road and whether it is parked correctly.

The data collected will be fed to an artificial intelligence algorithm that in turn will help scooters learn how to interpret their environment. That will eventually allow them to be programmed to react in a certain way.

For the rider, not much will change – for the time being. It will be up to Voi to decide, in cooperation with local authorities, which mechanisms could nudge riders to adapt their behaviour.

As things stand, an alarm will start beeping to invite the user to get off a prohibited sidewalk. Another option could be that the operator remotely slows down the device, or that repeat offenders face penalties.

"Is it a kind of three strikes and you're out scenario? Is it a sort of audio alarm? It's all up for grabs," Ronan Furlong, co-founder, and chief business development officer at Luna Systems, told Euronews Next.

Smarter scooters for smarter cities
The hope is that all the data and add-on tech will help riders and pedestrians co-exist more peacefully.

"The whole purpose of the industry, on one level, is to create that modal shift and get people out of their cars," said Furlong.

No-go zones, sobriety tests, and helmet selfies
E-scooter firms have been continuously striving to create smarter products, largely under pressure from local authorities.

Geofencing and slow-speed zones already cause devices to automatically slow down in dense areas, such as outside shopping centres, pubs, restaurants and schools.

Dedicated parking spots, no-park zones and penalties for users that break the rules have similarly made a difference in clearing up the sidewalks of several European cities.

E-scooter operators are also increasingly focusing on user safety. Last year, Voi introduced "helmet selfies" with rewards in the form of discounted rides.

It also launched a sobriety test on its app for users trying to unlock an e-scooter late at night. Riders are still able to unlock the scooter regardless of whether or not they pass the test, but the company is hoping the test will get some of them to think twice before riding under the influence.

It's not an anecdotal problem. Figures from Oslo University Hospital's accident and emergency department show that so far this year, half of those injured in e-scooter accidents had been drinking alcohol.

Leave A Message

Leave A Message
If you are interested in our products and want to know more details,please leave a message here,we will reply you as soon as we can.