Voi Teams Up With Drover AI To Tackle Unsafe E-Scooter Use

Tech Industry

In a bid to curb dangerous e-scooter riding, Sweden’s Voi has partnered with artificial intelligence start-up Drover AI.

Drover AI is a US start-up that builds artificial intelligence tools for micromobility providers, like Voi.

Its computer vision technology, PathPilot, detects the surface that an e-scooter is travelling on to try and prevent dangerous riding. It also works with US competitor Spin, which was acquired by Tier last month.

Scooter companies have touted geo-fencing – where scooters will slow or shut down if they enter certain areas – as their way to solve unsafe parking or dumping of vehicles or users riding on sidewalks and other dangerous locations.

Erratic riding and parking have been regular criticisms levelled against e-scooter hire companies.

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Drover said it can help detect more precisely where an e-scooter is travelling, based on the surface, whether it is a road, cycle lane, footpath etc.

Voi will deploy the technology in Oslo, which will gather data on how its scooters are being used in the city – data that can then be shared with the city council for oversight of the scheme.

Voi likens the technology to sensors in autonomous vehicles with PathPilot slowing down a vehicle once it detects the e-scooter is in a location that it shouldn’t be, like a footpath.

According to Voi, this is the “first full-scale deployment” of computer vision on e-scooters in Europe with thousands of e-scooters in Oslo to be equipped with PathPilot. The tech was trialed in one city in the UK last year.

“Voi’s vision for 2030 is for micromobility to become a staple of urban living across the globe. But we know that vision can only become a reality if the micromobility industry prioritizes the safety of users, pedestrians and other road users equally,” Voi chief executive Fredrik Hjelm said.

“That’s why we’re working with Drover to tackle the issue of pavement riding once and for all. By incorporating AI into our micromobility offering we believe we can nudge riders towards better parking and riding practices.”

The partnership with Drover AI comes after Voi recently released its latest e-scooter model, Voiager 5.

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