Micro mobility start-up Luna rolls in behind European Green Deal
Micro mobility start-up Luna is one of just 20 European start-ups to receive funding under the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT)’s New European Bauhaus initiative, which looks to translate the European Green Deal into tangible actions.
From over 1,000 applicants, the chosen start-ups were selected by a variety of EIT initiatives, namely EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Digital, EIT Food, EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility.
The DCU-based start-up was selected by EIT’s Urban Mobility as a key enabling technology for sustainable mobility and will receive a grant of €50,000, as well as a wide array of support services to pilot and further scale its technology.
Luna’s AI and computer vision solutions are being trialled in several key cities to solve safety issues associated with shared e-scooter schemes, such as footpath/sidewalk riding and bad parking, which particularly endanger those with reduced mobility and vision.
Its technology enables shared e-scooters to better understand their environment using ‘camera as a sensor’ techniques. For example, allowing an e-scooter to understand if it is in a heavily pedestrianised area and to react accordingly, based on parameters/controls set by the operator and/or city authority.
It also equips e-scooters to detect the kind of surface or lane they are riding on (bike lane, footpath, road), and again react accordingly depending on an operator and/or the city’s safety parameters.
Luna is also developing a series of algorithms and analytics tools that will allow micro mobility operators and cities to gain new insights into how the urban realm is performing, for citizens, municipalities and commercial stakeholders. Its technology enables shared/private/subscription micro mobility fleets (including scooters, bikes and mopeds) to behave as “mobile sensor networks”, capable of detecting an extensive number of events or objects in the city. This allows cities to better monitor and improve on the performance of the urban realm and drive improvements in how cities function.
In this way, scooters can detect and report on issues that a city can respond to in real-time. This can range from the locations of potholes to alerts on traffic congestion, and from air quality or noise monitoring to the identification of bad rider behaviour hot spots.
With privacy built-in, Luna’s GDPR-compliant technology also ensures that key identification points, such as faces, or licence plates are blurred at source.
The company is already partnered with several of the world’s leading e-scooter operators, including Voi and Tier, who are currently trialling its computer vision solutions in several locations.
“We are delighted to have been selected and keen to start working with the EIT Urban Mobility team to further develop and deploy our technology,” said Andrew Fleury, co-founder & CEO, Luna. “The grant will enable us to partner with cities across Europe to overcome barriers to micro mobility and enhance the EU’s sustainable transport agenda, by demonstrating how computer vision and AI can solve issues around sidewalk riding and bad parking, which are currently holding the industry back.”