Irish micromobility tech platform Luna is to partner with European e-scooter operator Tier to explore the deployment of computer vision to capture more accurate and up to date mapping and geospatial data for cities on fleets across Europe and the Middle East.
Luna provides computer vision and AI technology to better manage deployment and operation of shared micromobility fleets. It allows an e-scooter to understand if it is operating in a heavily pedestrianised area and how to react accordingly.
It also equips e-scooters to detect the kind of lane or surface they are riding on and react accordingly depending on an operator or the city’s safety parameters.
Luna is also developing a series of algorithms and analytics tools that will allow scooter operators and cities to gain new insights into how the urban realm is performing, for both citizens and businesses. Its investors include former Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll.
Tier and Luna are exploring the option of partnering in Paris and examining the possibilities of how vision-enabled e-scooters can use high fidelity and high frequency imagery captured by a portion of Tier’s fleet of 5,000 scooters there.
Both companies are also exploring partnering in the Middle East with “smart city stakeholders”, to examine the potential for bespoke computer vision solutions to tackle local issues around safety and infrastructure optimisation.
Additional pilot projects are also being explored in Spain amongst other locations, but details on these locations are yet to be finalised.
Luna will create 15 new full-time jobs to assist with the work on these pilot projects. The jobs will cover computer vision/AI, hardware, internet of things and project management roles in Ireland.
There will also be a further collaboration between the two companies with various digital mapping platforms, which will look at how Tier riders and computer vision on scooters can be utilised to capture more accurate and up to date mapping data.
This will assist the deployment of micromobility schemes in cities on a global scale. Existing mapping platforms scan cities maybe once or twice a year, whereas scooters can capture and infill additional street level data on a daily basis.
Tier and Luna are also embarking on a technical integration project to examine how the Luna computer vision hardware can be embedded into Tier vehicles at the point of manufacture.
This will allow Tier to develop a next generation e-scooter that allows the current Luna standalone computer vision tech to integrate more deeply with the vehicle.
Luna chief executive Andrew Fleury said: “Luna is thrilled to be partnering so closely with Tier across multiple geographies in the EU and Middle East.
“Cities and stakeholders everywhere are looking towards smart technology to help find solutions to some of the operational challenges that are holding the shared scooter industry back from fulfilling its potential.
“Tier is embracing Luna technology, even at this early stage of its evolution, in order to pioneer the future of micromobility, and deliver safe and sustainable services.”
Mr Fleury said the technology would “not only do the basics of looking after rider and pedestrian safety, but also look to the future where scooter fleets act as mobile sensor networks in the smart cities of tomorrow”.