Neuron Mobility launches global trial of innovative ‘e-scooter brain’

Posted: 4 November 2021 | | No comments yet

Neuron Mobility has launched trials in the UK, Australia and Canada of its new ‘e-scooter brain’, which features three new cutting-edge, Neuron-developed technologies that support e-scooter and passenger safety.

Neuron launches global trials of new sophisticated e-scooter

Safety-leading e-scooter operator, Neuron Mobility, has announced the launch of a six-month global trial across four cities in three countries (the UK, Australia and Canada) to put its revolutionary new ‘e-scooter brain’ to the test. 

Fitted to the company’s N3 e-scooters, the new ‘e-scooter brain’ is the label for three new cutting-edge technologies developed by Neuron that, when combined, make its e-scooter the most sophisticated ever produced. The technology will give the company, and the cities managing shared e-scooter programmes, unprecedented control of how the vehicles are ridden and parked.

The range of new technologies that make up the e-scooter brain includes High Accuracy Location Technology (HALT), Rapid Geofence Detection (RGD), an array of multi-function sensors and a new proprietary vehicle operating system. Used together, these features facilitate the world’s first Dangerous Riding Detection (DRD) system for e-scooters, which allows the company to correct or warn of unsafe behaviours in real time, while also profiling users and incentivising safe riding.

High Accuracy Location Technology (HALT) and Rapid Geofence Detection (RGD)

HALT is the next step in e-scooter precision location tracking. Using a sophisticated fixed base station within a city, which connects wirelessly to a receiver in the e-scooter, it corrects GPS inaccuracies, allowing every vehicle’s location to be tracked in real-time down to a range of within 10cm. This is at least 50 times more accurate than the e-scooter industry’s average GPS location system, which plots a vehicle’s location to between five and 10m or more within cities.

Neuron’s Rapid Geofence Detection (RGD) feature works with HALT to give unparalleled control of how e-scooters are managed in cities. With RGD, when an e-scooter crosses a geofence, such as a no-ride or go-slow zone, the vehicle can respond in 0.3 seconds, rather than the six to 12 seconds that it currently takes most rental e-scooter models to react. This is achieved by storing geofence data, and rules of how an e-scooter should behave when it crosses a geofence in the e-scooter’s brain on the e-scooter rather than in the cloud, which significantly cuts down on processing time.

Combining the high precision location capabilities of HALT with the ability to react almost immediately to geofences using RGD provides Neuron with the ‘holy grail’ that many e-scooters operators, and city transport managers, have been searching for. Using these two technologies, Neuron will now be able to detect and control pavement riding, provide high accuracy geofencing and also designate precise smart parking locations. 

Dangerous Riding Detection (DRD)

The e-scooter brain also includes an array of sophisticated multi-function sensors, which, combined with the company’s proprietary vehicle operating system, allow Neuron’s e-scooters to operate a Dangerous Riding Detection (DRD) system. It will monitor, in real-time, a range of bad riding habits, such as: pavement riding, aggressive swerving, skidding, tandem riding and ‘kerb jumping’. Using the data, Neuron will be able to deliver immediate alerts or follow up later with targeted rider education modules. The system will be able to profile different types of riders, giving them an individual safety rating, which provides the opportunity to incentivise good riding behaviour, as well as tackle problem riding. 

Global trials to assess real-life effectiveness 

Neuron’s new e-scooter brain will initially be beta tested on 1,500 e-scooters in different cities and environments around the world. In the UK, the trial will see 250 e-scooters in Slough fitted with the technology, as part of Neuron’s ongoing trial in the city. Other cities that will see trials include Ottawa in Canada, and Brisbane and Darwin in Australia. The trials will take place over a six-month period and will assess how riders behave in all kinds of real-life situations and how good riding can be encouraged. The findings will be evaluated, the technology refined and selected features will be rolled out across Neuron’s fleet internationally over the next six to 12 months.

Zachary Wang, CEO of Neuron Mobility said: “Recently, there’s been plenty of industry talk from micro-mobility operators about how to apply new technology to better control e-scooters in cities, but, until now, it’s mostly been aspirational or theoretical. Our trial is the first of its kind; we’ll have 1,500 e-scooters in cities across the world being tested in real-world situations to improve rider behaviour and safety. With the introduction of ultra-precise location and rapid response to geofencing, plus an array of new sensors, we’ll be able to correct rider behaviour while also putting the cities more in control of their e-scooter programmes.”

“The launch of our Dangerous Riding Detection technology allows us to profile our riders, and we can take a carrot and stick approach to improving behaviour. In some cases, alerting a rider to a dangerous behaviour at the exact moment it happens, then immediately educating them on how to rectify the situation, could help to change bad habits and improve safety. Long-term, we can give all riders an individual safety rating. It will allow us to incentivise good behaviour, target certain riders for refresher training and also ban rogue riders and repeat offenders for riding dangerously,” added Wang.

Ongoing focus on safety innovation

Neuron’s next-generation N3 e-scooters have been purpose-built to a commercial grade, specifically for renting and rider safety. They have visibly larger, 11.5 inch wheels and wider footplates than other e-scooters, and deliver the highest levels of safety, stability and rider experience, giving users an extra level of confidence.

The e-scooters feature the world’s first app-controlled Helmet Lock, which secures a safety helmet to the e-scooter, electronically releasing it to use at the start of the booking. Riders benefit from multi-language voice guidance to educate them on how to travel safely, a Follow My Ride feature allows riders to share their trip with friends and family in real time for added safety, and a 999 emergency button can tell if someone has had a fall, then help them call the emergency services. A topple detection feature alerts Neuron’s operations team if an e-scooter has been left on its side so that it can be repositioned. Geofencing technology control where e-scooters are ridden and parked, and how fast they can travel in certain areas.