As the electric scooter grows in popularity, new challenges arise regarding its circulation in cities. One of them is to prevent users from using them in forbidden or risk areas. In this sense, the American company Bird will begin to test a technology in its VMP so that they do not circulate on the sidewalks.

The solution, called Smart Sidewalk Protection, is already present on a trial basis in Milwaukee and San Diego, United States. But will begin to be tested in Madrid in early 2022. This will use a combination of sensors, positioning systems and mapping of the sidewalks to know exactly where an electric scooter is traveling.

In this way, the system will detect if a user deviates onto a sidewalk. In case this happens, the electric scooter will show a warning on the screen and will recommend leaving that risky surface. But as if this were not enough, Bird’s VMP will also broadcast a series of sound alerts and will send notifications to the paired smartphone.

Drive your electric scooter off the curb or it will stop

In case the user continues driving on the sidewalk, the electric scooter it will reduce its speed until finally turning off its engine. Bird is supposed to blindly trust its detection technology, as if the system fails by just a few inches the vehicle could stop on a busy road, potentially causing an accident.

Madrid will be the first city in Europe to start testing Smart Sidewalk Protection technology. Precisely, the state regulations that regulate VMPs prohibit them from circulating on sidewalks, but also on bike lanes, interurban roads, highways, highways, crossings and urban tunnels, and there is the possibility that they will soon have to have mandatory insurance.

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Credit: Bird

How Bird’s Solution Works

Bird ensures that its system Smart Sidewalk ProtectionDeveloped together with U-Blox, it is capable of running multiple data streams to achieve high-precision location measurement of the electric scooter. This system consists of a dual band multi-constellation GNSS receiver that supports GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and BeiDou , and it is more accurate than standard solutions.

The ultra-precise positioning data is processed in real time with the speed, acceleration, spatial orientation and other values ​​captured by the IMU sensor of the electric scooter. This is combined with the high precision mapping developed previously and allows to identify if the VMP is circulating in a prohibited zone.