Superpedestrian unlocks e-scooter safety breakthrough with acquisition of Navmatic

Source: press release, 20 July 2021

Superpedestrian’s new Pedestrian Defense capabilities will resolve deeply ingrained challenges in micromobility that have led many cities to restrict, sanction and even ban shared e-scooters
Superpedestrian’s new Pedestrian Defense capabilities will resolve deeply ingrained challenges in micromobility that have led many cities to restrict, sanction and even ban shared e-scooters (photo: Superpedestrian)

Superpedestrian, the MIT spin-off engineering firm behind LINK, “The Volvo of E-Scooters,” has unveiled a breakthrough active safety system dubbed “Pedestrian Defense”. The new system doesn’t just detect unsafe behaviours like riding on the sidewalk but puts a stop to them in real time in order to prevent serious injuries. The safety breakthrough is made possible through the acquisition of Navmatic, and the application of their patented Super Fusion technology, which combines multiple sources of real-time vehicle dynamics data to yield the most accurate, practical and reliable fleet positioning and vehicle control available today. Superpedestrian finalised the acquisition of Navmatic, a startup focused on micromobility safety, in June.

Superpedestrian’s new Pedestrian Defense capabilities will resolve deeply ingrained challenges in micromobility that have led many cities to restrict, sanction and even ban shared e-scooters.

By integrating Navmatic’s Super Fusion technology into Superpedestrian’s existing Vehicle Intelligence (VI) platform, Pedestrian Defense was born to ensure that unsafe behaviours like sidewalk riding, wrong-way riding, aggressive swerving and repeated hard braking are detected, then immediately corrected by slowing or safely stopping the scooter. Pedestrian Defense is a unique system which makes Superpedestrian the only micromobility provider that can reliably detect and correct unsafe rider behaviour in real time, and at scale across an entire fleet. The new technology integration also allows Superpedestrian to translate sensor data into other interventions, from direct notifications and incentives for riders, to comprehensive dashboards for policymakers that show safety trends and illustrate locations prone to unsafe behaviour or increased chance of a crash.

Superpedestrian is launching pilot demonstrations of Pedestrian Defense across the US this month, with full LINK fleet applications beginning in Fall 2021.

“Superpedestrian has cracked the code to one of this industry’s biggest challenges. Our e-scooter is unique because it has the computing power and sensors that Navmatic’s Super Fusion needs in order to operate in the field. Now, we can scale Pedestrian Defense across our entire fleet and offer riders and cities something no other company has: a real-time solution to aggressive and unlawful riding,” says Assaf Biderman, CEO of Superpedestrian.

“We’ve spent years at Navmatic developing the most fine-grained sensor fusion and rider behavior detection out there. With Superpedestrian’s high-quality hardware and smart system operation, we can detect how riders behave, make real-time interventions, and give cities actionable insight into the safety of their streets. This is what cities really need to solve the problems associated with e-scooters, and our team is the first and only one to achieve it. We are excited to join Superpedestrian, the technology-leading micromobility player. Only with Superpedestrian have we found the combination of a company that owns a leading sensing technology and that shares our passion to make cities safer,” says Boaz Mamo, CEO and Founder of Navmatic.

The Pedestrian Defense active safety system will:

  • Detect a range of dangerous behaviour such as riding on the sidewalk, riding the wrong way down a one-way street, aggressive swerving, and repeated hard braking.
  • Correct bad behaviour by immediately slowing or safely stopping a ride autonomously.
  • Alert riders violating rules with lights and audible notifications on the vehicle.
  • Educate riders with customised SMS alerts, in-app trainings, and incentives.
  • Inform cities with data and insights about safety conditions, including customised dashboards that identify locations with repeated errant behaviour.
  • Generate collision reports that provide authorities with detailed information in the case of a crash.

At the end of each ride, all riders will receive a Safety Rating that chronicles both unsafe and safe behaviours. This individual Safety Rating is used to deliver customised in-app and SMS safety training. As ride behaviour improves, riders receive discounts on their future rides. Chronically unsafe riders are not allowed to ride again.

More than behaviour, data from the Pedestrian Defense system can be put to work to improve infrastructure too, helping cities target locations that may need maintenance or safety upgrades.