- Free Consultations / No Fees Until We Win
- (213) 927-3700
Personal Injury Firm
Santa Monica is reportedly starting their second shared mobility pilot program, led by the micromobility company Spin, that will provide new technology innovations to curtail e-scooter use in the city’s sidewalks. The sidewalk detection tech is set to rollout in July.
Sidewalk riding is a rampant issue across Los Angeles as it increases the risk of e-scooters colliding with pedestrians — not to mention it is also illegal. But while Santa Monica formally banned the practice in 2019, both the City and e-scooter companies recognize that this regulation is challenging to enforce. The only time a person is allowed to ride an e-scooter on the sidewalk is to park the scooter or get a parked scooter onto the street.
But now, sidewalk detection technology reportedly has the power to curb the practice by allowing e-scooters to detect when they have been driven onto a sidewalk and produce a response. In Spin’s case, their e-scooters will emit a warning sound and send a push notification to the user on their phones. Their technology works through a combination of machine learning, computer vision, and artificial intelligence.It also includes a forward downward facing camera on the front of each scooter which captures photos of the surface a rider is on.
Phuong Bui, Government Partnerships Manager at Spin, reportedly explained: “All of the images will be processed onboard the scooter, which will analyze the images in real time and be able to decipher, with over 95% accuracy, where the user is,” said Bui, adding that Spin further boosts accuracy by training their algorithms with specific information on the layout of Santa Monica. He also said that the company could build a function where their scooters slow to a stop on sidewalks if the City expresses interest.
Spin’s competitor e-scooter company Bird was also gearing up to launch sidewalk detection tech on its Bird 2 devices this summer, but the City put the brakes on its rollout when it did not select Bird to participate in the second shared mobility pilot program. The company is currently in the process of appealing this decision.
Bird’s technology, however, does not use cameras, instead relying on GPS mapping of the City’s streets and sidewalks. When Bird 2 scooters ride on a sidewalk, they will reportedly beep and gradually slow down to a stop. Users will receive a message telling them to return to the road to resume normal speed.
Director of Government Partnerships Tim Harter reportedly said Santa Monica was slated to be the first city in the U.S. to receive this technology. The appeal decision will be released on June 22 and the second shared mobility pilot program will begin on July 1.
Pedestrians who are hit by e-scooter drivers have a right to file a claim and/or lawsuit against the person who hit them. Violating any traffic laws and rules is a form of negligence, which can cause accidents. California is a fault state, meaning that somebody has to be found liable for causing an accident. It is also a comparative negligence state, meaning that more than one person can be found at fault for causing an accident. Scooter riders can be found liable for an accident if they are unlawfully riding on the sidewalk and hit a pedestrian or when scooter riders are riding on the street and don’t obey traffic laws, which result in hitting a pedestrian.