This company wants electric scooters to be smarter and safer around pedestrians

·1-min read
Installed on its e-scooters, Voi is testing Luna's technology to help avoid collisions with pedestrians.
Installed on its e-scooters, Voi is testing Luna's technology to help avoid collisions with pedestrians.

Electric scooter-sharing service Voi is tackling the issue of safety hazards experienced by pedestrians by developing artificial intelligence (AI) motion detectors to avoid collisions. For this project, Sweden-based Voi has partnered with startup Luna to become the first e-scooter brand to offer real-time pedestrian recognition, in line with what certain car manufacturers already do.

The technology uses high-quality camera detectors linked to several algorithms. It is designed to determine if the scooter is in an area with high pedestrian density and to help it to react accordingly. The companies hope that the tech will also enable e-scooters to be able to automatically detect the type of lane they are riding on (curb, road, bike lane...) in order to adapt their speed.

In order to achieve convincing results, Voi will have to execute multiple test phases to clock thousands of kilometers of automatic learning. The first test phase is launching this week in the UK, in Northampton. It will focus on data collection. Other local tests will launch, notably in France, in 2021.

Once Luna has refined this technology, it will be integrated into Voi e-scooters for widespread public use. It is worth noting that the British government is backing the Northampton trial as part of an initiative to showcase e-scooters as an innovative and safe mode of transportation.