Shared micromobility company Voi is rolling out electric scooters in Oslo, Norway, with Drover AI’s computer vision technology that can identify if a scooter is on the pavement, road or bike lane to help prevent traffic on the street. pavement.
As the micromobility industry consolidates around a few key players and cities become more choosy about which carriers they allow on their streets, carriers are looking for ways to appear more attractive to cities. If there’s one thing cities seem to hate more than scooters on sidewalks, it’s taking ownership of why Scooter riders are on sidewalks first and respond with dedicated bike lanes. As a result, IT operators like Voi have turned to advanced driver assistance systems to earn a good reputation.
And it seems to be working.
Voi, which has been operating in Oslo for more than two years, recently extended its tender for another year, along with Tier and Bolt (Bolt is another of Drover’s clients, as are Spin, Beam, Helbiz and Fenix). The inclusion of Drover’s technology was one reason Voi’s parking and safety score on its app ranked highest among the 12 companies that also participated, according to someone familiar with the matter.
Of the 2,000 scooters the Swedish startup is rolling out in Oslo, hundreds will be equipped with Drover’s PathPilot AI technology in the coming months. Drover’s technology is capable of not only detecting when a cyclist is on the sidewalk or parking a scooter inappropriately, but can also alert the cyclist of their transgressions and even stop them. These more involved capabilities are left to the discretion of the operator and the city, and Voi has not yet clarified how or if it will intervene in the event of a passenger misbehaving.
This is not the first time that Voi has implemented camera-based technology to prevent scooters from driving or parking on sidewalks. Last summer, Voi launched a UK pilot with Dublin-based Luna investigating how smart AI cameras could help better enable scooter parking, avoid riding on sidewalks and avoid potential hazards. The Drover partnership is similar, though it will also help improve geofencing to control how and where scooters are driven and parked, and it will be done at scale, a Voi spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Voi also intends to use its collaboration with Drover to create a record of where and how scooters are driven in Oslo. PathPilot will automatically provide information about fleet usage or passenger behavior that Voi says it can share with Oslo City Council to help improve service by optimizing electric scooter locations or recognizing downed scooters for pick-up. Voi workers, the company said.