Micromobility provider Tier has acquired camera-based location firm Fantasmo, to bring improvements to parking in-house.
US-based company Fantasmo uses cameras to replace GPS tracking, with the technology capable of tracking how e-bike and e-scooter users park their machines.
Tier says it has acquired Fantasmo as an investment into its parking services, as the operator tries to encourage safe parking through its shared transport schemes.
Matthias Laug, CTO and co-founder of Tier, said: “The acquisition of Fantasmo is a major step forward in our continuous investment in innovative features and technologies that will help to make e-scooters more compliant and safer for all road users. From the very beginning we’ve been hugely impressed by Fantasmo’s Camera Positioning System, which allows us to directly address the concerns of vulnerable road users when it comes to how e-scooters are parked. Our plan is to expand the positioning technology to numerous cities in Europe and the Middle East in the near future and at the same time invest in the upcoming computer vision-powered rider assistance system.”
Tier and Fantasmo have been working together for the past 12 months, as Tier has utilised Fantasmo technology to crack down on irresponsible parking, which is a major concern for city authorities and pedestrians, particularly those with visual impairment.
Fantasmo builds 3D maps of cities by walking the streets and taking images – as an example, the company walked more than 2,500km of Paris streets.
Because of the ground-level based imagery, Fantasmo says its technology is considerably more accurate than satellite-based GPS systems.
Jameson Detweiler, president and co-founder of Fantasmo, said: “We have been working with Tier closely for over a year, and have experienced first-hand their commitment to be the best micro-mobility platform for cities, citizens and riders. We are excited to continue on this journey together as we continue to expand our CPS powered parking validation technology and into the future by bringing that technology and advanced rider assistance systems directly onto vehicles. We are confident that with Tier’s operational and vehicle experience and Fantasmo’s computer vision technology, we can ensure micromobility vehicles, pedestrians and everyone else will be able to exist together harmoniously.”
Tier said it plans to introduce a new computer vision-based driver assistance feature, that will detect traffic violations and collisions. Riders breaking the rules will then be warned about their behaviour.
The purchase price and other financial details will not be disclosed, Tier said.