Riding around town on an electric scooter may sound like it a good idea at first. It’s a quick, efficient, and fun way to get from point A to point B. It is also far more environmentally friendly than using your car or conventional public transport.
However, a majority of people that use electric scooters as a way to navigate their city often lack the necessary experience and know-how to properly use the scooters or don’t know how to respond to certain road situations, like a pedestrian suddenly stepping onto the pavement as they zoom by.
To remedy this issue, and ensure that all electric scooters are as safe as possible, a Swedish startup that offers electric scooter rentals called Voi has teamed up with another startup called Luna, to incorporate computer vision machine learning algorithms and high-end cameras into its range of city scooters. They hope the additional computing power will assist the less experienced drivers in detecting pedestrians.
The two companies claim the new tech will help Voi’s scooters become better at navigating densely populated areas like city centres. The tech will also help the scooters better understand what surface they’re driving on, and respond appropriately, whether it be a bike lane, pavement, or road.
We’re excited to be partnering up with @Luna_Systems_ – piloting a new AI and computer vision technology for safer riding. The project aims to improve e-scooter safety by tackling two key e-scooter issues: pavement riding and pedestrian detection. https://t.co/wULWqjghgD
— Voi Technology (@voitechnology) November 12, 2020
The new tech will be undergoing a year-long testing period set to begin this week. The first phase of testing will see Voi employees ride scooters equipped with the technology around the city of Northampton, UK, to allow the AI to learn and adapt to its surroundings. Once the testing has been completed and the AI has sufficient data to work with, the public will be able allowed to use the new and improved scooters.