Sensor-Fusion Platform Keeps Sidewalks Safe

by Mat Dirjish

Electric transportation company Bird and wireless semiconductor expert u-blox unveil their first-of-its-kind smart sidewalk protection technology. A sensor fusion solution, Smart Sidewalk Protection, prevents micro-mobility vehicles like powered scooters and e-bikes, from traveling on sidewalks and footpaths.

Partnering with u-blox, Bird co-developed a sensor fusion system that tracks location with centimeter-level precision. Combining u-blox’s ZED-F9R dead reckoning module with centimeter-level sidewalk mapping and Bird’s suite of onboard vehicle sensors, the system effectively and efficiently detects and prevents sidewalk or footpath riding in real time.

Unlike traditional GPS with cloud-based maps that can take 15 or more seconds to respond, the Smart Sidewalk Protection platform can safely bring a vehicle that enters onto a sidewalk to a safe stop. The rider can then walk the vehicle back to the roadway or bike lane. Bird’s sidewalk detection technology is currently piloting in Milwaukee and San Diego and is set for a run in Madrid in early 2022.

Can’t wait to keep those pesky cyclists off your busy sidewalks but need to glean more? If that’s you, no need to cycle or drive. Just peruse the Smart Sidewalk Protection overview. And just for the heck of it, see what u-blox is up to.

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