Shared e-scooter company Superpedestrian is preparing to roll out its Pedestrian Defense safety system at scale, a feature that allows the company’s e-scooters to detect and correct unsafe driving behavior, such as riding on sidewalks or on the wrong side of a road. one-way street, in real time. Superpedestrian aims to build and launch new Pedestrian Defense-equipped scooters to 25 cities in the US and Europe this year, with initial deployments starting in the US and UK in pedestrian-dense cities in early spring, according to the report. company. .
This will be the first time Superpedestrian is bringing its new technology to market since the company acquired Navmatic, a startup that used precise GPS positioning to help micromobility operators locate vehicles and correct movements in real time, last July. The purchase allowed Superpedestrian to integrate Navmatic’s software with its own onboard Vehicle Intelligence safety system, a combination of AI, sensors and microprocessors, in order to provide a safety feature that would control many unsafe driving behaviors, including one of the things cities hate. more: walking on the sidewalk.
“Even in cities like New York or Chicago, which are traditionally not walkable cities, everyone now understands the primacy of the pedestrian,” Paul White, Senior Director of Public Affairs at Superpedestrian, told Ploonge. “So these cities and others are saying that we want to take a zero-tolerance approach to walking on sidewalks. It is not enough to know with relative certainty that the scooter is on the sidewalk. We really want to see intervention and control to keep scooters where they belong.”
While many of the cities where Superpedestrian will deploy its new safety system are existing partners, several are new partners the company has won or hopes to win, particularly as city calls for proposals are starting to require companies to deploy technology that protects pedestrians in the city. road, according to White. For example, two of the cities Superpedestrian is currently competing for, San Diego and Chicago, are transitioning from open markets to tight markets with fewer operators, and both have made anti-sidewalk capability a big part of their criteria, White said.
Both upgrading the current fleet and expanding into new markets are made possible by the closing of a $125 million Series C round, which consists of equity and debt. The investment comes from Jefferies, Antara Capital, Sony Innovation Fund by IGV and FM Capital, along with existing sponsors like Spark Capital, General Catalyst and Citi through the Citi Impact Fund. The super pedestrian would not share the terms of the debt agreement, nor which investors contributed equity versus debt.
The C Series is the largest round Superpedestrian has raised to date following its latest $60 million raise in December 2020. The money will also be used to drive the company’s research and development into the broader applications of its Vehicle software stack. Intelligence, which it has received interest from other transportation companies, such as those that operate small fleets of delivery vehicles, says White.
“Capacity is super interesting, not just for the scooter business, which is really working with cities, but the capability is relevant for any small vehicle operating in a dense, pedestrian-rich environment where having that kind of granular level of Scale controls mean you’re not detracting from the pedestrian experience,” White said. “I think this is another reason why we saw a lot of participation and interest in this round, not just for what the technology does for our core scooter business, but for its relevance to any small electric fleet that will face the same challenges or not. blocking the bike path or encroaching on valuable pedestrian space.”