Luna and Zipp Mobility roll out smart scooters

Zipp Scooters
Image: Zipp Mobility

Move comes as Government makes progress on regulation

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25 January 2021 | 0

Smart scooter technology company Luna and Zipp Mobility have begun rolling out next-generation scooters that ‘know’ where and how they are being parked and ridden. The announcement comes on the back of the recent Irish Government statement on their intention to regulate the use of electric scooters this Spring.

Luna-enabled smart scooters will be fitted with world-first centimetre-level positioning technology and AI cameras, to solve the dual issues of dangerous parking and illegal footpath riding.

Luna’s centimetre-level accurate GPS technology has been developed to govern and control shared scooter schemes particularly with regard to unacceptable scooter parking. Luna-enabled scooters know, to an accuracy of up to 2cm, if they are parked in the appropriate location or not. This order of magnitude improvement in scooter GPS accuracy will allow Zipp to prevent their new smart scooters from being parked in any unauthorised locations, causing street clutter and trip hazards for pedestrians.

 

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Additionally, Luna’s computer vision technology has been incorporated into the new smart scooters for Zipp. This technology has been designed to control illegal riding on footpaths and in other unauthorised areas. This is achieved through a range of smart cameras and edge AI algorithms that can detect pedestrians and understand what surface or lane the scooter is riding in. Zipp will use this data to warn, slow down, fine or even ban users who misuse their scooters.

Computer vision will play a vital role in the future of shared scooter schemes, and opens up other smart city data possibilities for operators and regulators alike – including helmet detection, camera assisted parking, pothole recognition, traffic monitoring, crowd analytics, and even autonomous rebalancing of scooter fleets. Zipp are committing to investigating these alternative use cases in partnership with Luna, in the expectation of offering these solutions to cities in 2021 and beyond.

The Luna smart scooter will reduce insurance costs, municipal fines, and fleet management costs for Zipp, while simultaneously improving customer satisfaction and public acceptance of shared scooters. The Luna smart scooters will initially be rolled out across Zipp’s UK operations, with the intention to also bring this Smart City capability to bear on any future Irish shared scooter schemes.

As part of this collaboration, Luna and Zipp will also be providing precise positioning and computer vision smart city data to DCU researchers for research projects based in the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics, as well as to the Smart Dublin team. This GDPR-compliant acquired and shared data can be mined for insights in respect of rider behaviour and safe infrastructure requirements, which can then be used to inform municipal policy in respect of micromobility generally.

Andrew Fleury, Co-Founder & CEO, Luna: “Shared scooter schemes will likely be coming to the streets of Dublin, Cork, Belfast and elsewhere on the island during 2021, so it’s important that local authorities leverage the learnings from other locations when implementing their own scooter schemes. We’ve seen problems arising in other locations due to pavement riding, and street clutter caused by bad parking, and we look forward to innovating alongside Zipp, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, and Smart Dublin, in order to overcome these Smart City challenges.

Charlie Gleeson, founder and CEO, Zipp Mobility, added: “We have seen first hand the requirement for better GPS capabilities in the industry, in order to better control rogue parking and other operational aspects of our business. Moving from standard GPS accuracy of five-to-ten metres, to hyper accuracy at the centimetre-level is a game changer, and we’re excited to be at the forefront of this industry transition. The computer vision technology is just as exciting and it gives us the ability to monitor and control footpath riding in real time, and this is going to make a massive difference to the services we can offer to local authorities as we continue to reach our goal of ‘mobility done right’.”

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