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E-scooters Are Getting Computer Vision To Curb Pedestrian Collisions

Published by Slashdot on Fri, 20 Nov 2020


An anonymous reader shares a report: Last year, electric scooters were booming in big cities across the United States and other countries as urbanites embraced a relatively novel way of getting around town. The rentable, battery-boosted rides also brought a rising number of pedestrian-involved crashes as some riders illegally zipped down sidewalks and darted around traffic before the craze was interrupted by the pandemic. Downtowns became ghost towns when businesses told workers to stay home, and e-scooter business slowed, dropping as much as 70 percent. As people reemerge from shutdowns, wary of congested trains and buses, the micromobility industry may enjoy a post-pandemic renaissance, analysts say. People are buying more of the two-wheelers in some markets. China-based Niu saw sales rise sales 6.3 percent internationally as cities such as Boston, New York and Minneapolis expanded bike lanes to encourage social distancing, setting the framework for a potential e-scooter comeback. By the time the novel coronavirus is in the rearview mirror, riders could be encountering a new type of e-scooter, one that picks up safety tools from modern cars. Last week, micromobility companies Luna and Voi Technology came together to kick off a test fleet of e-scooters with pedestrian detection. The test scooters are deployed in Northampton, England. Luna, a Dublin-based start-up, developed the system of cameras and sensors that it says will enable the scooters to learn and respond to their environments. Voi, a Swedish e-scooter manufacturer, integrated Luna's computer vision system into 50 of its e-scooters. [...] The immediate goal for Voi and Luna is to have the devices detect people and objects in a scooter's path, even if the rider doesn't see them. The idea is to make scooter users and pedestrians feel safe as they navigate busy streets, which is the most significant issue plaguing cities with legalized shared e-scooters, according to Fredrik Hjelm, CEO of Voi.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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