Firm deploys AI against dangerous e-scooter riding

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.

A LINK e-scooter in Vienna

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

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