How high-end cameras and algorithms make escooters safer

This article was originally published by Christopher Carey on Cities today, the leading news platform for urban mobility and innovation reaching an international audience of city guides. For the latest updates, see Cities Today Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtubeor sign up for Cities Today News.

Swedish micromobility company butter expands its e-scooters to include computer vision technology in order to automatically reduce the speed when entering areas with restricted traffic.

The company has partnered with the Irish tech startup Luna Implementation of the technology that includes high-end camera sensors.

Algorithms interpret the inputs from these sensors, and the data is processed using edge computing – an approach in which data processing is performed closer to where it is needed to reduce latency.

The technology can also detect the surface an e-scooter is being ridden on, e.g. B. on a bike path or a road, and adjust the speed accordingly.

Fredrik Hjelm, Co-Founder and CEO of Voi Technology, said, “We are leveraging pioneering technologies like this to design cities for livelihoods and to ensure local authorities are confident about including e-scooters as part of their smart city strategies. “

UK trials

Tests with the new solution are currently underway in the British city of Northampton. In the first phase, Voi employees on site will equip the scooters with the technology so that they can get to know their surroundings.

Once this phase is completed, the technology will be integrated into Voi’s e-scooters for public use in the city.

The Northampton E-Scooter Test is part of a UK Government-led initiative to test the effectiveness of e-scooters in UK cities.

Last week Transport for London (TfL) has launched a competition to determine which three e-scooter companies will take part in its test, which is set to start next spring.

Ensuring safety has become a crucial feature of the British trials. E-scooter companies perform functions such as a second geofencing technology and artificial noises Warn pedestrians.

British Automobile Association The AA has also teamed up with the German e-scooter company TIER Mobility for road safety lessons that teach e-scooter drivers how to operate and park vehicles and safely share the road with cars, pedestrians and vulnerable users.

Micromobility security

While the safety of e-scooters has been subjected to intensive scrutiny in recent years, research The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has determined that they are no more dangerous than other forms of micromobility, including bicycles and e-bikes.

Earlier this month, the Dutch government successfully tested a safety feature designed to limit the speed of e-bikes on a four-kilometer cycle path at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

With the help of digital technology, the motor of the e-bike is switched off when the devices enter built-up areas.

The non-profit association The Townmaking Institute behind the concept is working with e-bike companies and government agencies with the expectation that the technology could be rolled out by 2022.

The discussions about the use of the technology are furthest advanced with the city of Amsterdam, but the provinces of Gelderland and North Holland are also said to have shown interest.

The standard e-bike can reach speeds of 20 to 25 km / h, but faster models can reach 80 km / h.

In 2019, 65 people were killed while riding e-bikes in the Netherlands, up from 57 in 2018.

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Published on December 29, 2020 – 15:00 UTC

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