Transportation robotics company Superpedestrian is to deploy its AI-based safety system across its LINK e-scooter fleets, including those that are part of government-backed trials in the UK.
The firm announced what it said was its largest-ever funding round, ‘closing $125 million in debt and equity capital’, which it said will be used to expand the LINK e-scooter service, boost its R&D programs, and deploy e-scooters with its new ‘Pedestrian Defense’ safety system in the first 25 cities across the US and Europe during 2022.
This will include Nottingham, where Transport Network recently witnessed rented Link scooters being ridden on the footway.
‘Following successful field tests’, the AI-based system will eventually be integrated into whole LINK e-scooter fleet, which has launched in 57 cities.
Superpedestrian said the software fuses data from multiple vehicle sensors and integrates them with the scooter’s on-board vehicle intelligence to take real-time action on the scooter.
It added that Pedestrian Defense can:
- more precisely detect vehicle position even in urban canyons where GPS has high inaccuracy
- detect a much wider array of unsafe riding behaviour, including sidewalk riding, stunt riding, aggressive swerving and ‘salmoning’ against traffic
- intervene automatically to slow or stop a scooter in real-time when unsafe behaviour like riding on a footway is detected
Jean Andrews, policy director of Superpedestrian for UK and Ireland, said: ‘Superpedestrian is on a successful mission to build and operate the safest and most comfortable shared e-scooter on the market.
‘LINK is the only e-scooter available today with the technological capacity to run the Pedestrian Defense system.’
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Superpedestrian was spun out of MIT in 2013 and launched the LINK e-scooter in 2020