Tier utilises on-board sensors and AI to detect e-scooter pavement riding

Tier, one of the world’s largest providers of shared micromobility, has demonstrated new AI capabilities developed in-house to accurately detect pavement and tandem riding on its e-scooters.

The tests took place on Tier e-scooters equipped with its soon to be released ‘Parrot’ e-scooter brain, which is capable of recognising anti-social riding behaviours without requiring the use of a complex and fragile camera or computer vision systems.

Riding an e-scooter on the pavement or with a passenger are considered anti-social riding behaviours which pose a hazard to pedestrians, other road users as well as to the rider.

Alongside in-app reminders and other efforts to curb this behaviour, Tier is developing a system capable of recognising how and where a Tier e-scooter is being ridden, based on data from on-board sensors, analysed by AI.

As shown in recent demonstrations, users who ride on the pavement receive an automated warning after their ride, with a reminder that they would be banned from using the service after their third offence.

Pavement and tandem riding are both against Tier’s terms of use and repeated offenders will be barred from the service.

Nuno Simaria, CTO at Tier, said: “While micromobility is still a relatively new addition to our streets, the technology we are developing is continuing to evolve at a rapid pace – as the capabilities of our new Parrot computing module shows.

“The project has challenged the team, but we are now able to create our own hardware, and from that base develop complex software and AI.

“With pavement and tandem riding detection we are able to provide a technological solution to anti-social riding, without needing to resort to an expensive and fragile computer vision based system.”

The new capabilities are possible thanks to Tier’s new e-scooter computing module, known as Parrot.

Developed in-house by Tier, the module features upgraded sensors, wireless systems and computing power.

These parts combine to allow the Tier team to develop new capabilities for its e-scooters, improving customer experience and the overall safety of the service.

The Parrot module is currently being piloted on the streets of London ahead of it being fitted to the entire UK fleet of e-scooters later this year, with pavement riding and tandem riding detection capabilities to be activated once thorough testing has been completed.

By developing Parrot, Tier has been able to increase the life of its UK e-scooter fleet by an additional three to five years, further decreasing vehicle emissions per passenger kilometre and improving sustainability.

Read more: Battery fires risk ‘slowing momentum of micromobility sector’, according to head of UK bike brand 

Lawrence Leuschner, co-founder and CEO at Tier, added: “Tier was founded to offer people a sustainable travel alternative to driving in towns and cities.

“Anything we can do to increase the working life of our vehicles further reduces the carbon cost of making the vehicle in the first place, improving the overall sustainability of our service.

“To be able to do that while also creating a platform for us to make our service better for the user, and safer for the public is a rare case of an innovation with no downsides.”


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