Tier trial leans into computer vision

Micromobility firm Tier is to monitor modal shift to e-scooters across users in Dublin
Mobility as a Service / August 5, 2021
By Ben Spencer
Tier electric scooter Luna computer vision Dublin City University Energy Network
Tier says AI model will alert cities to blocked footpaths from a tipped over e-scooter or fallen tree (© Cineberg Ug | Dreamstime.com)

Tier is equipping 30 electric scooters with advanced computer vision technology from Luna across five campuses of Dublin City University (DCU) in Ireland. 

Tier says the e-scooters can run pedestrian detection and lane segmentation algorithms, allowing them to understand how many people are in their path as well as preventing vehicles from being used on footpaths. 

The project is seeking to improve e-scooter safety and to explore the smart city possibilities associated with these vehicles and the data they can generate.

DCU-based researchers will analyse the vision data generated by the fleet with the aim of identifying applications useful to local authorities.

An initial use case will focus on the development of an artificial intelligence (AI) model that can alert cities in real-time to blocked footpaths that can result from a tipped over e-scooter, a badly parked car or a fallen tree. 

Additionally, Tier and DCU will monitor the modal shift pattern from cars to e-scooters across DCU users, with a focus on reducing the university’s transport-related emissions.

Tier will also explore the impact of its 'Eenrgy Network' model, which allows users to swap depleted e-scooter batteries in exchange for free travel at charging stations hosted in local retail outlets. 

Other partners involved in the project include Insight SFI Research Centre For Data Analytics and Smart DCU, a district of Smart Dublin.

DCU locations involved in the trial include the Glasneivn, St Patricks, All Hallows, Alpha and Sports campuses. 

The trial will run until early 2022 and coincides with moves to make e-scooters street-legal across Ireland. 

Minister of state Hildegarde Naughton Teachta Dála, says: “It is my job now and the job of Government to play our part and progress the necessary legislation required for the safe use of e-scooters in Ireland. I look forward to seeing this pilot progress across campus and I am particularly interested in learning of its outcomes and insights which I am certain will inform us in further progressing legislation in this space.”

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