Earlier this month, e-scooter and e-bike company Lime launched a new AI-powered safety system.
Called Lime Vision, the company said its new AI smarts would be able to detect when e-scooter riders were using pavements, rather than roads, and provide data to cities and local authorities on how to improve their transport infrastructure.
To find out more about the new system, we spoke to Alan Clarke, Lime’s Director of UK Policy and Government to find out more.
How do the cameras in the Lime Vision system work?
Using onboard cameras and AI-enabled image detection, Lime Vision can distinguish between the sidewalk and the roadbed. It can detect wide variability in road and sidewalk surfaces allowing for easy customisation to individual cities. Using Lime Vision, Advanced Sidewalk Detection can identify in under a second when an e-scooter is being ridden on a sidewalk and slow the scooter while alerting riders audibly that they should move off of the sidewalk.
Is the data gathered on the journeys analysed on the scooters or sent to a data centre?
We only store visual data used to train our city-specific algorithms and delete the data as soon as model training is complete. Images are stored in an AWS [Amazon Web Services] cloud server in the US and accessed through a secure connection.
Are you expecting cities and towns to be able to learn a lot from the data gathered with Lime Vision? Can we expect to see radical changes to urban roads?
For cities, Lime Vision can play a crucial role in data collection and reduce residents’ concerns over sidewalk riding. Lime also works alongside cities to improve protected bike lane infrastructure that provides a safe, preferred place to ride e-scooters, using data from its sidewalk riding detection technology to highlight where riders might feel less safe on streets.
Can we expect to see similar solutions rolled out on Lime’s e-bikes?
Currently, Lime is focused on ensuring we have the best product for scooters since most sidewalk riding occurs on scooters, not bikes. As we determine the future of the Lime Vision platform we will consider equipping bikes with this technology as well.
Was the Lime Vision project initiated by you or have cities been pushing for broader safety features?
As the world’s leading provider of shared electric vehicles, we prioritise innovation at every turn. Lime is the first micromobility operator to build its own version of this technology, with competitors using off-the-shelf solutions from third-party providers.
What future safety systems can we expect to see in the future?
Lime Vision is designed to power the future of safety innovation at Lime. By building this technology in-house, we can make continuous improvements to it on our own, rather than relying on a third party.
It will also allow us to scale with ease and in the future, more seamlessly integrate the technology into our hardware from the outset. We will have more to share about the future of Lime Vision as we assess the results from this initial pilot.