Bird and u-blox: Keeping Sidewalks for Walkers

Scooter company Bird and u-blox have jointly developed a new Smart Sidewalk Protection system to help prevent shared scooters from operating on city sidewalks. It uses the u-blox ZED-F9R, a dead-reckoning module that fuses GNSS and sensor data, delivering centimetre-level location information in any condition. This allows the system to monitor whether a Bird e-scooter is being operated unsafely, such as on a sidewalk or speeding. Using Bird data, the companies co-developed a version of the ZED F9R module tailored to meet the needs of the shared micromobility industry.

The dual-band ZED-F9R GNSS receiver supports up to eight times more satellite signal types and four times more constellations (GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and BeiDou) than typical solutions. The module processes real-time vehicle data, including wheel speed, IMU sensor data (including acceleration and heading), and real-time kinematic data that corrects for ionospheric interference. The technology is also optimised for e-scooters by applying dynamic models matching their movements.

To turn this sensor-fusion module into its Smart Sidewalk Protection system, Bird developed a five-step process for creating sidewalk maps with centimetre accuracy.

Read more in GPS World article.

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