Fred Jones, TIER General Manager for Northern Europe , Source:

Dublin to host e-scooter AI research pilot

Dublin to host e-scooter AI research pilot

Luna, TIER, DCU and the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics will collaborate on the world's first academic-industry computer vision research project

Dublin City University (DCU) is to host an artificial intelligence-based e-scooter research pilot project, which will run in parallel with the legislative drive towards regulating the use of e-scooters and e-bikes on Irish roads, reports 

Ireland's first major structured e-scooter trial 

The shared scooter pilot scheme will operate on individual DCU campuses, and between campuses once the draft legislation is signed into law. The trial will be carried out by four partner organisations: Europe's largest e-scooter operator TIER; Irish micromobility tech platform Luna; the Insight SFI Research Centre For Data Analytics; and Smart DCU (a district of Smart Dublin). 

The pilot will be the world’s first academic-industry research project dealing with computer vision in scooters, as well as Ireland's first major structured e-scooter trial. Its purpose is to simultaneously enhance e-scooter safety and to explore the Smart City possibilities linked to computer vision-enabled micromobility vehicles.  

As part of the project, TIER will provide a fleet of 30 e-scooters equipped with Luna technology, that will be using algorithms to figure out how many people stand in their way and where: on the road, a bike lane, or a footpath. The vision data generated by the fleet will be analysed by DCU-based Insight researchers, who would then identify e-scooter smart city use cases and applications that can be of value to local authorities, in line with the mission of Smart Dublin. 

Shift from cars to scooters 

Separately, TIER and DCU will monitor the modal shift pattern from cars to e-scooters across DCU users, with a focus on cutting the University's transport-related emissions. TIER will also check the impact of its 'Energy Network' model which allows users to swap depleted e-scooter batteries - in return for free travel - at charging stations run by local convenience stores. This unique scheme gives retail outlets an additional source of income, helping the post-Covid economic recovery.

Fred Jones, TIER General Manager for Northern Europe qualified the project as an “exciting opportunity for detailed research on smart city applications of scooters as well as modal shift, as we work with the University to reduce its carbon footprint and offer a more sustainable first and last mile public transport solution."

Dr Declan Raftery, COO Dublin City University added: "This research is a great example of the calibre of groundbreaking innovations that are happening across DCU. Luna was founded in our Alpha Innovation Campus and we're delighted to pilot the technology across our campuses.

We are genuinely curious to understand how e-scooters can help drive modal shift across our community of 18,000 students and almost 2,000 staff, and we want to work with Dublin and Ireland stakeholders to disseminate all useful learnings from the pilot, as we prepare for a return to campus and a wider return to work in a post-Covid world."



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