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 sidewalk, road or bike path to avoid rolling on the pavement.
As the micromobility industry consolidates around a few key players and cities become more demanding about which operators they allow on their streets, operators are looking for ways to appear more attractive to cities. If there’s one thing cities seem to hate more than sidewalk scooters, it’s making them their own. 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 give them a good reputation.
And it seems to work.
Voi, which has been operating in Oslo for more than two years, recently had its tender extended for another year, alongside Tier and Bolt (Bolt is another Drover client, along with Spin, Beam, Helbiz and Fenix ). The inclusion of Drover’s technology was one of the reasons why Voi’s safety and parking score on its app ranked highest among the 12 companies that also participated, according to a person familiar with the case.
Of the 2,000 scooters the Swedish startup is rolling out in Oslo, hundreds will be equipped with Drover’s PathPilot AI technology over the next few months. Drover’s technology is able to not only detect when a driver is on the curb or improperly parking a scooter, it can also alert the driver of their transgressions and even slow them to a stop. These more involved abilities are at the discretion of the operator and the city, and Voi has not yet specified how or if it will intervene if a cyclist misbehaves.
This isn’t the first time Voi has deployed camera-based technology to prevent scooters from rolling or parking on curbs. Last summer, Voi launched a pilot project in the UK with Dublin-based Luna, which is investigating how smart AI cameras could help better enable scooter parking, prevent traffic on pavements and avoid traffic jams. potential hazards. The Drover partnership is similar, though it will also help improve geolocation to govern how and where scooters are ridden and parked, and it will happen at scale, a Voi spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Voi also intends to use its collaboration with Drover to establish a record of where and how scooters are driven in Oslo. PathPilot will automatically provide information about fleet usage or driver behavior that Voi says it can share with Oslo City Council to help improve service by optimizing e-scooter locations or recognizing fallen scooters for pickup. by Voi workers, the company said.