The popularity of e-scooters has been on the rise—particularly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the devices have become more widely used, pedestrian-involved crashes have also increased.
According to the Washington Post, the micromobility industry is likely to see a post-pandemic renaissance. In addition to rideshare scooters being popular, it’s expected sales of the vehicles will increase. With that, there are likely to be more accidents. To reduce crashes, micromobility companies Luna and Voi Technology have partnered to test a fleet of e-scooters with pedestrian detection.
Pedestrian detection systems aren’t new, as they’ve been included in many cars and trucks for years. But introducing this technology in e-scooters gives local authorities access to a real-time camera feed. This will enable police to better monitor rider behavior. It will also allow cities to respond to crashes or hazards like potholes quickly.
According to Fredrick Hjelm, CEO of Voi, the immediate goal is to have the cameras detect people and objects in a scooter’s path even if the rider doesn’t see them. This should make scooter users and pedestrians feel safer as they navigate busy streets: “When looking at cities’ micromobility pain points, it’s mainly around parking and safety. How do we make sure nonriders feel safe when they’re close to scooter riders, and how do we make scooter riders feel safe next to pedestrians on sidewalks?”
The Luna-developed pedestrian detection system is similar to the safety braking system used in cars. The only notable difference is that Luna’s system is smaller and cheaper to reproduce. Thousands of pictures of real people were used to train the AI system. Luna is also seeking to license its technology to other electric scooter companies in the United States and other countries.
It’s projected that the data collected from the smart micro-vehicles can be used to slow a scooter down, minimize congestion, and lockout people who do not follow local transportation rules. The GPS feature can also help cities monitor where scooters are being parked or abandoned and control where they’re being used.
While this technology can reduce e-scooter accidents significantly, it’s unlikely it will stop them completely. In the event you’re involved in a crash, whether you were operating an e-scooter or were struck by one, you may have grounds to file an injury claim. If you believe someone else’s negligence contributed to your accident, contact the Rideshare Law Group today.