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Will This New Tech Solve Key Scooter Share Issues?

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Stockholm, Sweden

Voi is a Swedish based scooter-share operator that claims to be the first and largest in Europe. Like almost all scooter-share companies, it has been growing fast and now has over 500 employees.

Voi is launching the ‘world’s first’ large scale pilot of computer vision on e-scooters, installing AI technology that can detect when an e-scooter leaves the road and rides on a pavement, or when the vehicle is parked incorrectly.

Voi is working with Irish micromobility startup Luna, whose technology offers real-time lane segmentation and pedestrian detection for scooters.

Voi e-scooters fitted with the new technology were tested on Stockholm streets in advance of deployment in Northampton later this month (July 2021), to demonstrate the potential of the technology which will increase the safety of e-scooters by fixing the problem of pavement riding. The technology will also provide tools to identify problem areas and adapt infrastructure for micromobility, by conveying real-time data about how the vehicles are being used.

The ‘smart camera’ hardware and electronics have been honed by Luna and Voi over the past six months, to integrate with the latest Voi vehicles, while the computer vision algorithms have been trained using hours of video footage from Northampton.

The first pilot will begin this month in Northampton in the UK, where Voi has an exclusive licence to operate as part of the Government’s national trial of e-scooters, which started last year and runs until spring 2022.

Voi will initially install cameras on a number of e-scooters in Northampton for a two-phase pilot starting in July. In the first phase, a controlled user group will road test the computer vision technology to collect real-time visual information on the environment the e-scooter is travelling through, as well as detecting pedestrians in the path of the e-scooter.

The technology will also be able to detect the surface that an e-scooter is being ridden on, such as a bike lane, pavement, or roadway, and alert the rider accordingly with an audible alarm if they are riding on the footpath.

Information for this article was sourced through a Voi media release and an article published in MMB Weekly (UK).

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