A new “Pedestrian Shield” system has been introduced and it will auto-adjust speed restrictions on rental scooters depending on whether they’re on the road or the footpath. The system will be able to do this with the help of cameras and AI-powered analysis to assess the environment and use GPS to establish no-ride zones.
Beam is rolling out a trial of the technology across its rental fleets in various Australian state capitals. Pedestrian Shield uses Drover AI’s Path Pilot system which is a module that claims it can identify streets, sidewalks, and bike lanes out of the box using nothing but camera data. This is done so people don’t have to identify and precisely tag these areas to feed a GPS-based system.
From there, operators or city councils are free to impose whatever limits they see fit. Beam’s example would allow 25 km/h (15 mph) on the street, and 15 km/h (9 mph) on footpaths.
Moreover, Drover can set the system up to validate that the users are parking their scooters in the correct spots. This is done through visual analysis to make sure that they’re parked either in a designated scooter spot, next to a bike rack, or within two feet of a curb. Likewise, if rental fleet operators are losing scooters after they’re left in multi-story car parks with poor GPS signals or having trouble with clowns riding them through shopping malls, Drover can flick a switch to disable them in these environments.
This AI tech is designed to work just as well with rental ebikes as with scooters.
Overall, anything that can clear the path to greater adoption of these clean, convenient urban transport options, while stopping them from being ugly footpath-blockers in the process, is going to help take cars off the road, and that’s good for all stakeholders.