Scooter company Superpedestrian aims to stop riders engaging in risky behavior – and not stepping on the pavement
Superpedestrian designs and builds its Link electric scooters for shared use in 59 cities in 10 countries in the United States, Europe and Turkey. There are 35,000 Link scooters worldwide. The company designs and engineers the vehicles in Cambridge and builds them in China.
“Over the past two years, infrastructure issues and lack of equitable access to public transit options in urban and suburban communities across the United States have underscored the need to develop safe and reliable transportation options for all,” Meredith Shields, head of the Citi Impact Fund, an investor in Superpedestrian, said in a written statement.
Superpedestrian’s Link electric scooter was launched in 2020 using its patented artificial intelligence technology, called Vehicle Intelligence, which manages the internal electronics of the scooter. It identifies problems and solves them in real time, avoiding costly repairs or safety risks.
The company announced in 2021 its newest patented artificial intelligence technology, called Pedestrian Defense, which helps prevent dangerous scooter riding habits, such as rolling on sidewalks, making aggressive turns, doing stunts or riding at countercurrent. This driver behavior analysis technology can take control of the scooter to slow it down or stop it when it detects unsafe driving based on city regulations. So far, Superpedestrian has only demonstrated pedestrian defense for city planners, but says it will be incorporated into the operating system of its scooters this year for consumer use.
“While overall the safety benefits of micromobility are clear, there is the challenge of how to prevent them from encroaching on pedestrian rights of way,” said Paul Steely White, senior director of public affairs. Automotive News. “Some cities want to see a hard stop when the scooter hits the pavement, but [many] cities would prefer that we notify the endorsement and follow up with them. We are able to adapt it to the needs of a city.”
The new funding will allow Superpedestrian to build scooters with onboard pedestrian defense technology and adapt the company’s patented AI technologies for customers outside of the e-scooter space, White said, although he does not provide details.