Centimetre-level positioning technology could pave way for e-scooters on our roads

Andrew Fleury, Luna; Peter Gomez, Blue Duck Scooters; Samantha Fahy, DCU; DCU President Prof Brian MacCraith; Ronan Quinlan, Taoglas
Andrew Fleury, Luna; Peter Gomez, Blue Duck Scooters; Samantha Fahy, DCU; DCU President Prof Brian MacCraith; Ronan Quinlan, Taoglas

Luna/Blue Duck collaboration to promote compliance with urban safety standards

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10 December 2019 | 0

Luna has announced a partnership with US e-scooter operator Blue Duck to pilot its centimeter-level location technology ahead of commercial roll-out. The pilot also aims to provide valuable control and governance data to inform Irish and global policy formulation on e-scooter usage.

The pilot project will take place in Dublin City University’s private campus road network in partnership with the university.

Currently, e-scooters are prohibited from public road networks in Ireland. However, a recent bill to amend the Irish Road Traffic Act 1961 to regulate for the use of electric scooters indicates a potential shift on the horizon.

Luna has developed a telematic device, which will enable scooter operators to pinpoint the exact location of their scooters within 5cm level accuracy. As of now, all operators rely on legacy GPS to track and locate their scooters which only provides meter-level accuracy.

The company was established on the premise that while GPS is suitable for most modes of traditional transport, its metre-level accuracy does not enable scooter operators to pinpoint the exact location of its scooters meaning that it’s impossible for operators or authorities to stringently enforce rules and policies for scooter usage in cities.

“A successful outcome of this pilot test could lead to significant enhancements to our ability to manage our fleets responsibly while providing exceptional service to our partners and riders,” said Blue Duck CEO Michael Keane.

Luna has been formed by a consortium of European industry leaders in areas such as antennae technologies, machine-to-machine communications, fleet management software, and connected mobility analytics. These include, Transpoco, a leader in vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions and Taoglas, the world’s leading provider of next-generation IoT solutions.

“Our partnership with Blue Duck will generate invaluable data which aims to inform policy here in Ireland and once commercially launched, will hopefully pave a path towards the adoption of this form of high accuracy positioning technology,” said Andrew Fleury, CEO, Luna.

“The wide-scale European adoption of scooters as a trusted micromobilty solution is really at a major impasse. Safety and rider behavior has always been the crux of the problem – not just accidents on the road, but pedestrian hazards from careless riding on footpaths and tripping hazards from scooters abandoned in random locations in between rentals.

“Our technology will address all of these issues by providing a much more accurate means to locate scooters and govern their usage.”

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