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Superpedestrian Link scooter
It’s not just cars that are benefiting from advanced driver assists – e-scooters are getting into the smart act too.
Superpedestrian, the MIT spin-off engineering firm behind Link scooters has unveiled a breakthrough active safety system it calls “Pedestrian Defence”, which doesn’t just detect unsafe behaviour, but puts a stop to them in real time in order to prevent injuries.
The company says the safety breakthrough was made possible through the acquisition of Navmatic, and the application of that company’s patented “Super Fusion” technology, which combines multiple sources of real-time vehicle dynamics data to yield what it says is “the most accurate, practical and reliable fleet positioning and vehicle control available today.”
Superpedestrian says the new Pedestrian Defence technology will resolve “deeply ingrained challenges in micromobility that have led many cities to restrict, sanction and even ban shared e-scooters.”
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The company says that Pedestrian Defence can detect “unsafe behaviour” like riding the wrong-way, aggressive swerving, repeated hard braking and riding on the footpath where that is prohibited, and immediately correct it by slowing or safely stopping the scooter.
The new technology integration also allows Superpedestrian to translate sensor data into “other interventions”, from direct notifications and incentives for riders, to comprehensive dashboards for policymakers that show safety trends and illustrate locations prone to unsafe behaviour or increased chance of a crash.
“Superpedestrian has cracked the code to one of this industry’s biggest challenges,” said Assaf Biderman, CEO of Superpedestrian.
“Our e-scooter is unique because it has the computing power and sensors that Navmatic’s Super Fusion needs in order to operate in the field. Now, we can scale Pedestrian Defence across our entire fleet and offer riders and cities something no other company has: a real-time solution to aggressive and unlawful riding.”
The Pedestrian Defence active safety system will:
- Detect a range of dangerous behaviour such as riding on the sidewalk, riding the wrong way down a one-way street, aggressive swerving, and repeated hard braking
- Correct bad behaviour by immediately slowing or safely stopping a ride autonomously
- Alert riders violating rules with lights and audible notifications on the vehicle
- Educate riders with customised SMS alerts, in-app trainings, and incentives
- Inform cities with data and insights about safety conditions, including customised dashboards that identify locations with repeated errant behaviour
- Generate collision reports that provide authorities with detailed information in the case of a crash
At the end of each ride, all riders will receive a Safety Rating that shows them both unsafe and safe behaviour. This individual Safety Rating is used to deliver customised in-app and SMS safety training. As ride behaviour improves, riders receive discounts on their future rides. Chronically unsafe riders are not allowed to ride again.
Superpedestrian currently operates its Link scooter sharing business in the USA, Canada and parts of Europe, with a pilot programme of the Pedestrian Defence technology starting this month in the USA before rolling out across the company’s fleet later this year.