Irish micromobility technology platform Luna will partner with European e-scooter operator Tier to investigate the use of computer vision to capture more accurate and up-to-date mapping and geospatial data for cities in fleets across Europe and the Middle East.
Luna offers computer vision and AI technology to better manage the provision and operation of shared micro-mobility fleets. It enables an e-scooter to recognize whether it is driving in an area with heavy traffic and how it must react accordingly.
In addition, it enables e-scooters to recognize the type of road or surface they are driving on and react accordingly depending on an operator or the safety parameters of the city.
Luna is also developing a range of algorithms and analytics tools that will enable scooter operators and cities to gain new insights into how urban space is performing for citizens and businesses. Investors include former Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll.
Tier and Luna are exploring the option of partnering in Paris, exploring ways in which sighted e-scooters can use high-resolution, high-frequency images captured by part of Tier’s 5,000 scooter fleet there.
Both companies are also considering partnering with “Smart City Stakeholders” in the Middle East to explore the potential for bespoke computer vision solutions to address local security and infrastructure optimization issues.
Further pilot projects are also being investigated in Spain, among others, but details on these locations are still pending.
Luna will create 15 new full-time positions to support work on these pilot projects. Jobs include Computer Vision / AI, Hardware, Internet of Things and Project Management roles in Ireland.
There will also be another collaboration between the two companies with various digital mapping platforms exploring how animal drivers and computer vision on scooters can be used to collect more accurate and up-to-date mapping data.
This will support the introduction of micro-mobility concepts in cities on a global level. Existing mapping platforms may scan cities once or twice a year, while scooters can collect and fill in additional road data on a daily basis.
Tier and Luna are also launching a technical integration project to investigate how Luna’s computer vision hardware can be embedded in Tier vehicles at the manufacturing site.
This will allow Tier to develop a next generation e-scooter that will allow Luna’s current stand-alone computer vision technology to integrate more deeply into the vehicle.
Luna CEO Andrew Fleury said: “Luna is thrilled to be working so closely with Tier in several regions of the EU and the Middle East.
“Cities and stakeholders around the world are looking for smart technologies to find solutions to some of the operational challenges that are preventing the shared scooter industry from realizing its potential.
“Tier is already using Luna technology at this early stage of its development to advance the future of micromobility and provide safe and sustainable services.”
Fleury said the technology will “not only lay the foundations for driver and pedestrian safety, but also look to the future where scooter fleets will act as mobile sensor networks in tomorrow’s smart cities”.