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Electric scooters in Northampton will be able to use on-board cameras and algorithms to sense the movement of pedestrians and the road

pxidw 2020-11-16 146 times

Trials of electric scooters in Northampton began 300 trials in September and more will be introduced over time.

In a new experiment in the town, electric scooters in Northampton will be able to use on-board cameras and algorithms to sense pedestrians' movements and footpaths.

New technology will let scooters know if they are on the pavement, cycle track or road, so Northampton County Council can better understand how they are used.

Jason Smithers, county councillor for Northamptonshire, said: "We are delighted to be among the pilots of this revolutionary computer vision electric scooter.

"The advanced technology will support the current trial in Northampton by enabling us to better understand the behaviour of riders and pedestrians in order to integrate electric scooters into our local transport system in a more effective and beneficial way.

Electric scooters in Northampton will be able to use on-board cameras and algorithms to sense the movement of pedestrians and the road

"As a result of the successful trials so far, we will expand this to other areas, such as Caitlin, in the coming weeks." In collaboration with Luna, a computer company, a later phase of the trial will see the data used to safely control the speed of each electric scooter in a crowded area.

Luna's machine vision technology will enable the Voi scooters to detect if they are in a pedestrianised area, count the number of pedestrians on their straight path and respond in real time to alerts, causing the scooters to slow down.

The trial began this week in Northampton as part of the first phase of the global rollout, which focuses on data collection before the technology, with plans to integrate the technology after Christmas.

Since the introduction of electric scooters in Northampton last month, the town has had more than 87,000 car visits and more than 10,300 registered users.But the launch of the electric scooters experiment drew a strong response from readers of the Chronicle and Echo, who were highly critical of how the scooters remained in the middle of the sidewalk.

Electric scooters in Northampton will be able to use on-board cameras and algorithms to sense the movement of pedestrians and the road

Since its launch, the company has brought in more than a dozen "ambassadors" to teach riders how to ride safely. Over time, the company says, it will introduce more electric scooters to its fleet of 300.

Fredrik Hjelm, Co-founder and CEO of Voi Technology, said, "We are excited to work with Luna and Northampton County Council to add this additional layer of security and intelligence to our electric scooters, and see the benefits computer vision will bring to making them smarter and more adaptable to their physical and regulatory environments.

"Being able to equip our electric scooters with this new technology will make sure that we can solve the problem of bad footpaths, bad parking, and of course eliminate the possibility of pedestrian collisions.

"Technology is always changing and we are always working with the latest solutions to ensure our number one priority - security.
"We are delighted to see so many people in Northampton using our scooters in a more environmentally friendly way."

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