Australia’s first full-fleet trial of footpath detection and speed limiting technology in rental e-scooters has been launched in Victoria’s City of Melton.
Beam has rolled out 150 e-scooters fitted with its Pedestrian Shield technology, which can detect and correct illegal footpath riding by slowing the vehicle down and delivering verbal warnings.
Pedestrian Shield is powered by PathPilot, an IoT module which was developed by Californian company Drover AI and uses an onboard camera to detect city infrastructure such as roads, bike lanes and footpaths in real-time.
As part of an Australian-first study to determine the best way to influence e-scooter rider behaviour, Beam and Drover will utilise a unique three-group testing approach to evaluate the effectiveness of differing real-time rider feedback in influencing rider behaviour.
Fifty e-scooters will be integrated with full Pedestrian Shield technology featuring both audio alerts and real-time speed adjustments on footpaths, delivering a warning about illegal footpath riding and slowing the e-scooter down.
Another 50 e-scooters will be integrated with partial Pedestrian Shield technology, delivering audio alerts, but no speed change, if the rider attempts to ride on the footpath.
The remaining 50 e-scooters will serve as a control group, with the technology detecting rider interaction with differing road surfaces but delivering no real-time feedback.
Beam’s standard rider enforcement and education program will be in place across all 150 e-scooters.
Beam says the trail aims to gather empirical data showcasing the efficacy of the additional technology in rider education and enforcement, while observing the impact on rider compliance.
The data will be published in a white paper and will guide councils and policymakers across Australia in adopting new technologies in future shared micromobility programs.
“The data from the trial will also serve to inform policymakers on the interaction between micromobility and other road users such as pedestrians and cars, to provide insights into infrastructure improvements that can support the growing number of active transport modalities on the roads,” Beam says.
Beam General Manager (ANZ) Tom Cooper believes road detection technology has the ability to set a new benchmark in e-scooter safety and riding compliance
“With different States in Australia having different legislation governing e-rideables, Beam’s Pedestrian Shield is able to adapt to the different riding rules in each State – whether that is to enforce lower speeds on footpaths or stopping the Beam altogether,” he said.
Beam is the exclusive partner of Drover AI in Australia and NZ.
New Neuron General Manager
Neuron recently appointed a new general manager for its Australian and NZ operations.
Jayden Bryant was promoted from his previous role as head of expansion for the ANZ region.
He has been with the company since 2019, starting as city manager for Brisbane and then regional manager.
Jayden previously worked as operations manager in Brisbane for Bolt from 2018.
New Share Scooter Trials
Armidale became the latest NSW regional centre to host a Beam share service trial, with 300 e-scooters rolled out in the Northern Tablelands city last week.
The expansion of e-scooter share services in regional NSW will continue in Wollongong at the end of this month, when Neuron Mobility rolls out 300 scooters for a 12-month trail from 29th September.
The trial area will include parts of the city centre, as well as North Wollongong, Keiraville and Woonona, and extend as far north as Sandon Point. Riders will also be able to access key Wollongong destinations including Wollongong University, WIN Sports and Entertainment Centre, Stuart Park and many of the city’s coastal beaches.