Superpedestrian unveils rider safety technology after Navmatic acquisition

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Micromobility firm Superpedestrian has unveiled an active safety system capable of preventing unsafe e-scooter riding in real time, following its acquisition of technology firm Navmatic.

Having completed the acquisition last month, Navmatic’s patented Super Fusion technology combines multiple sources of real-time vehicle dynamics data to provide “accurate, practical and reliable fleet positioning and vehicle control”.

Dubbed Pedestrian Defense, the technology will be integrated into Superpedestrian’s existing Vehicle Intelligence platform and is designed to prevent unsafe practice including sidewalk riding, wrong-way riding, aggressive swerving and repeated hard braking.

Once such an action is detected, the system will intervene by slowing or safely stopping the e-scooter.

The integration of the technology allows for riders to earn incentives based on behaviour, while it also generates data that can show safety trends and areas with increase chances of a crash.

“Superpedestrian has cracked the code of one of this industry’s biggest challenges,” said CEO of Superpedestrian Assaf Biderman.

“Our e-scooter has the computing power and the unique sensors that Navmatic’s Super Fusion needed to go into the field. Now, we can scale Pedestrian Defense across our entire fleet and offer riders and cities a real-time solution to aggressive and unlawful riding.”

Superpedestrian is launching pilot demonstrations across the US this month, before being rolled out in Europe this Autumn.

“European testing of Pedestrian Defense will commence in the Autumn, likely starting in Ireland,” Superpedestrian UK and Ireland Policy Director Jean Andrews told Zag.

“Our engineering teams will work through a rigorous development programme to account for a wide variety of geographic, climactic and urban design factors. We’ll begin rolling out Pedestrian Defense across our European fleets in early 2022.” 

Several other operators within the shared e-scooter market have looked to solve this problem, with Spin launching its Insight Level 2 technology earlier this year.

Powered by AI firm Drover, the computer vision and machine learning platform can “detect improper sidewalk riding and parking with an expected accuracy rate of better than 95%”.

“From our conversations with cities and various interest groups, we know that pavement riding and improper parking has been top of mind from the start,” Spin Country Manager, UK & Ireland, Steve Pyer told Zag.

“Our new Spin Insight platform enables us to educate riders about the do’s and don’ts of e-scooter riding through our pavement detection technology which continually learns and remembers the streets to alert riders when they ride on the pavement instead of the road or cycle lane. So we basically nudge riders towards a more appropriate behaviour. It’s a learning curve and we believe this technology is a game-changer.”

Meanwhile, Lime said that its “highly accurate geofencing” plays a role in controlling rider speed and behaviour.

“Safety remains our number one priority which is why we continue to invest in industry leading software and hardware safeguards,” Lime Public Affairs Manager, UK, Hal Stevenson told Zag.

“All our Gen4 e-scooters have highly accurate geofencing to control rider speed and behaviour, and on-vehicle technology which can detect pavement riding. This tech is designed to make our scooters safer for pedestrians, our riders and other road users, helping to create a well managed and responsibly used service that benefits riders and the cities they ride in.

“We’ve also launched a series of First Ride Academies in participating boroughs to help new riders to understand how to ride safely and park responsibly. In addition to the mandatory training users will complete prior to riding an e-scooter, we have also worked with the AA to provide further safe riding resources via an online Driving School, Learn to Lime UK.”

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