From cars to scooters: which have now become one of the most used means for micro-mobility, companies are also moving to equip scooters with Adas, that is, with advanced driving assistance systems designed to increase the safety of those who drive the vehicle and other road users.
Bird, in particular, has announced a new technology capable of detecting when someone is driving a scooter on the pavement (a maneuver that is prohibited as well as dangerous) and to slowly stop the vehicle. The system is still being tested, and the Californian sharing company is testing it on hundreds of scooters circulating between Milwaukee and San Diego, but in the first half of 2022 the Madrid fleet should also be involved. For Scott Rushforth, Bird’s chief vehicle officer, “tens of thousands” of scooters equipped with this technology should leave the factory in the coming months with the aim of gradually adapting the entire fleet.
Working with Bird on this new feature was u-blox, a Swiss company that produces wireless semiconductors and modules capable of receiving specific inputs from sensors. In the case of Bird from the gps ones, which communicate the position of the scooter. By combining the data relating to the position of the wheels, the speed of the vehicle and the inclination, the system identifies the pavement and sends sound and visual alerts to those who are driving it through the application and a new color display. If the curb travel continues, the scooter stops.
A problem that has several facets, that of scooters on the pavement, and which now affects all companies in sharing. Not only for the march, but also for the wild parking lots that block the passage of pedestrians and that in some cases, if they occur on cycle paths, also put cyclists at risk. Other companies have already tried their hand at its resolution: Lime, for example, announced in January 2020 its intention to use a “sophisticated statistical model” that can tell with 95% accuracy if a scooter has hit a curb.
Other companies have invested in cameras and sensors that are mainly used by operators to understand if a vehicle has been left in unsuitable places and to provide for its removal (also at the request of the administrations). Bird argues, however, that his model is not only cheaper, but also more immediate and effective, because it is more dynamic and based on georeferencing. The frequent users of black and white scooters, in short, are warned: in a few months the “sgarro” will not go unnoticed, thanks to the sound alarm that will not stop sounding until the scooter is brought back to the (right) lane.