Lime has introduced new safety features to its e-scooters, including a computer vision system. The goal is to reduce collisions, serious injuries, drunk riding, and pavement riding. The Lime Vision platform is the industry’s first AI-enabled computer vision platform developed in-house, which is featured in the package.
Lime Vision will alert motorists when an e-scooter is on the road, allowing them to react quickly and avoid being struck by a motorist or scooter. Lime’s Advanced Sidewalk Detection uses real-time pavement analysis to detect when a rider uses an e-scooter on a pavement. The feature will notify them via an audible sound, so they ride off the sidewalk.
Lime’s new safety features come as the company faces increasing pressure to improve the safety of its e-scooters. In the U.S., numerous injuries and even deaths have been associated with Lime e-scooters. The company has also been criticized for its lax safety standards, allowing drunk and underage riders to use its scooters.
Lime hopes its new safety features will improve its image and help it avoid further regulatory scrutiny. The company has been working closely with city officials to ensure that its e-scooters are operated safely and in line with local regulations.
Lime is conducting field tests of its new system on 400 scooters in San Francisco from mid-August. By the end of 2022, the company intends to expand the program to six major markets in the U.S. and Europe. The company has not yet announced plans to roll out the system globally.
Lime Vision will stand out because it will be informed by the company’s data, with service in more than 250 cities. The Lime Vision product roadmap will rest with the nearly-20-person in-house development team, which will control new use cases to address city needs.
Lime will continue working with cities to determine why pavement riding is higher on specific routes and advise infrastructure choices. Ideas about where new protected bike lanes would be most effective could be an example. For non-cyclists–including pedestrians and persons with disabilities–the computer vision technology will assure that e-scooters will not be a risk when used on sidewalks.
Lime also introduced a new late-night rider test, which measures reaction time to deter drunk riding. Riders cannot start an e-scooter journey until they pass the exam.