January 27, 2023
[27 January 2023] Australia and New Zealand’s largest shared micromobility company Beam has begun integration of its path detection technology, Pedestrian Shield, onto a number of its Auckland e-scooter fleet.
An initial 200 e-scooters will be fitted with the technology, powered by Drover AI’s PathPilot product.
The AI-powered technology can detect whether an e-scooter is travelling on a road, footpath or bicycle lane, allowing for customised education and enforcement to riders, and assisting policy-makers in their urban planning.
In the initial phase of integration, the units will detect surface areas as riders travel, learning Auckland’s specific road, bike path and footpaths.
The units will adapt their knowledge of the city as riders ride around Auckland.
Riders will hear a range of audible sounds on e-scooters with Pedestrian Shield integrated which change as the e-scooter travels between road, bike path and footpath, indicating to the rider that the e-scooter has identified the surface area they are riding on.
In the second phase of integration scheduled for later this year, the e-scooters integrated with Pedestrian Shield will eventually have the capability to cap riders at different maximum speeds depending on surface area.
For example, a rider will be allowed higher maximum speeds when riding on a bike path or road than on the footpath.
Beam’s General Manager (ANZ) Tom Cooper says:
“This is a big step forward for the shared micromobility industry in the region, allowing cities better understanding and control of how Beam’s e-scooter riders are using the city’s road infrastructure.
“As cities adapt quickly to more forms of micromobility as a mode of transportation, we are committed to investing in technology to ensure Beam’s vehicles are best-equipped to serve both riders and the wider community.
“The integration of Pedestrian Shield will happen in gradual stages, to ensure the highest degree of accuracy in surface detection for the safety of Auckland’s road users.
“With Beam’s current permit in Auckland running to 2024, this gives us an opportunity to increase our investment in e-scooter technology across the city, including even more industry-first features which we look forward to introducing to Auckland first in the coming months.”
Drover’s co-founder Alex Nesic says:
“We are thrilled to support Beam with the introduction of our cutting-edge technology to the streets of New Zealand, with the objective of ensuring smarter, safer and more organized shared micromobility for riders and other right-of-way users alike.
“Beam has done a tremendous job growing the popularity of shared scooters in the region and Drover is keen to help them continue to improve the experience.”