Forest utilises AI to incentivise responsible parking of its e-bikes

Forest has partnered with Captur AI to design and implement an industry-first parking technology which will improve Forest users’ adherence to parking regulations across London.

When a user completes a Forest ride and takes a photograph of the parked bike, the AI will review the photograph and score the bike as parked ‘well’, ‘satisfactorily’ or ‘poorly’. If ‘poorly’ parked, the user will be prompted to repark their e-bike into a better position.

As a London-born and based shared e-bike operator, Forest has worked with local authorities to provide a sustainable way for people to travel around the city, with the number of riders growing by 100% year on year.

However, a frequent pain point for operators and local authority partners is parking compliance and the impact that irresponsibly parked bikes can have on some community groups and pedestrians.

To date, users who consistently park poorly will receive warnings, incremental fines and potentially even be banned from the Forest platform.

The new AI will encourage better parking through proactively educating customers and encouraging behaviour change, rather than solely using punitive action.

In a further bid to encourage positive parking behaviour, during the month of October, Forest will reward the top 20 users who consistently park with high scores with 100 free minutes.

Forest hopes that this positive approach will prompt long-term behavioural change in users, whilst also drawing attention to the important issue of responsible parking in the dockless e-bikes market.

Alex Berwin, Forest’s head of policy, said: “We really appreciate that London’s public realms are cherished spaces and they need to be protected.

“We also know that there is huge demand for our services across the capital and the vast majority of our users wish to use our bikes responsibly. That’s why we’ve added a game-changing solution into the Forest app which harnesses artificial intelligence to encourage positive parking behaviours from our community.

“As the first micromobility company to enter into this space we hope it will pave the way for other initiatives to ensure the sector continues to thrive.”

Forest has been training the AI over the summer, ensuring that it is consistently allocating ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ parking correctly.

As well as predicting ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ parking, Captur’s technology is also able to provide specific reasons that help prioritise the risk to pedestrians, such as blocking a pavement or causing an accessibility hazard.

Since Forest adopted the technology in June, the accuracy of Captur’s AI has already increased by 15% as it learns from seeing new scenarios..

Users will begin to receive the post-parking in-app message prompting them to repark if needed, from next week.

Read more: The big obstacles: Fleet decarbonisation and its impact on the bike industry

Charlotte Bax, Captur’s founder and CEO, said: “Adopting AI is top of mind for every company, but still only a small minority have been able to successfully make the leap from concept to production. This partnership is a fantastic example of applying AI to solve real problems at a large scale.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Forest as they lead the shared mobility industry in innovating rider experience with Captur’s smart cameras. Together we can accelerate the growth in adoption of shared mobility without the risk to cities, pedestrians, and riders.”

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