Lime, as many people know, is a transportation company that is known for providing the facilities of electric scooters, electric bikes, and car-sharing facilities for the local people. However, for some time now, pedestrians walking on sidewalks were being troubled by the menace of people riding these rented scooters on sidewalks instead of using the dedicated road space allotted to them. Now, Lime, having its biggest fleet in San Jose, has finally come up with a solution to put a full stop to this issue of people using sidewalks to ride scooters.
The transport company on Tuesday announced that it had developed a device that can help in determining when people are using sidewalks for their scooter rides instead of roads. The company states that this is a “first-of-its-kind” of technology. It can be considered as a kind of a pilot project launched by Lime. It plans to find out the time duration that these scooters have taken a ride on sidewalks based on the results projected by an accelerometer, speed data, and artificial intelligence.
The technology works this way-sidewalks consist of uniformly spaced grooves, which is in complete contrast to those of roads. Therefore, the speed variations are quite evident, and one can make out how much time was spent riding on sidewalks.
In cases where there is detection that at least 50% or even more of the complete ride has occurred on sidewalks, the rider gets a push notification forbidding him to use sidewalks and use the road instead. These are usually determined by Artificial Intelligence.
It has been quite some time now that concerns have been raised with regards to people using sidewalks for riding their scooters. In fact, sidewalks are supposedly meant exclusively for pedestrians. The average scooter speed on sidewalks is about 12-15mph, which is good enough to pose a threat to people walking on the same. An incident has been reported where a woman in Barcelona apparently lost her life when a scooter hit her on the sidewalk. Apart from this, there are various incidences of people getting injured due to the same.
In fact, it was actually legal in Denver to use sidewalks for scooters. However, once these incidences started coming to light, the said law was revised in August, stating that scooters would be banned from running on sidewalks.
Lime has apparently come across all these concerns of the people, and thus it decided to find a solution for the same. Although it may not be possible for the firm to stop people from using sidewalks completely, something can definitely be done to prevent them from doing so in the future. Thus, keeping this in mind, Lime devised a technology wherein the time period for which sidewalks are being used for scooter rides can be detected. The rider is simply warned to avoid using sidewalks going further.
EV Ellington, who is the general manager of Lime’s Northern California division, has stated that “Lime has been working on sidewalk riding detection since hearing concerns from some city and community partners. We believe we may have finally cracked the code on this issue and developed a technology that is effective, safe, and scalable.”Source
Mayor of San Jose Sam Liccardo has expressed a lot of pleasure with the efforts undertaken by Lime. He was heard saying, “It’s great to see Lime answering our call to action.” According to Liccardo, efforts of this sort go a great way in making it safe for pedestrians as well as scooter riders.
Lime also plans on giving the riders more information regarding their scooter driving. Riders would be getting details of their complete trip towards the end of every journey. This would give them an idea of how much sidewalks they used during their entire ride. This would aid them in avoiding crowded streets in the future.