2021 – What the [email protected]!
Just when we thought we'd never see anything as crazy as 2020, 2021 said "hold my beer." Maybe it wasn't that crazy, but we certainly saw things in the world of mobility that raised quite a few eyebrows. We saw the return of micromobility to cities, public transit struggle to regain its footing, HUGE growth in e-bike usage, scooter companies going public, scooter companies innovating, e-bike subscription companies launching. If indeed there was a clear winner, it was e-bike manufacturers, retailers, and subscription companies. The latest figures were compiled by NPD and indicate a growth rate for electric bicycles of 240% in the 12 months leading up to July 2021.
Data aggregation companies adapted to cities desire for more data, new data, better data, accurate data, big data, data on those things, data on whatever that was moving down the sidewalk, data on curbs, data on parking spaces, data on how good data is…oh, and make it easy to understand…you get the idea. #jobsecurityfordatanerds
A closer look at scooter innovation and sidewalk riding
Some things may have changed, but cities' frustration with sidewalk riding and incorrect parking of scooters remained constant. In reality, the return of scooter operators to the streets and the increased usage due to Covid concerns may have exasperated the problem and likewise cities' frustrations.
Enter AI and innovation in hardware from scooter companies. Ford-owned scooter company Spin partnered with Drover AI to deliver clearer and more precise data related to events like sidewalk riding and correct parking while other scooter companies improved hardware technology that should deliver better data for cities and in theory improve the behavior of riders.
Expect to see even more data coming from scooters in 2022 as technology improves and more scooter companies adopt camera technology or other onboard technology to improve both rider behavior and rider experience.
Data innovation in 2021
I'd say data nerds have job security for the foreseeable future…you know who I'm talking about. With more and more forms of mobility and delivery devices hitting the streets and sidewalks, the need for data is simply getting greater and greater.
Safety and equity remain key priorities for cities as it relates to mobility. Data aggregation companies like Blue Systems are working to deliver meaningful data to cities in North America and Europe. According to Blue Systems' Vice President, James Delgado "there has never been a more important time to provide cities with meaningful data that can be analyzed and visualized in real-time."
Spin and Blue Systems announced a partnership in 2021 that will see the integration of sidewalk riding data into the Blue Systems Mobility Manager Platform. With more and more forms of mobility and delivery devices hitting the streets and sidewalks, the need for data is simply getting greater and greater. Spin utilizes Drover AI's onboard technology to accurately identify sidewalk riding events, incorrect parking events, and ensures better than GPS location accuracy to provide cities data on rider behavior. Ted Bronstein, Senior Vice President - Business at Spin stated "We are pleased to partner with Blue Systems to help cities compile the data they need to make informed infrastructure and micromobility program decisions. This is Spin's latest step in creating a suite of products that empower cities with tools to meet the growing mobility needs of residents and visitors."
Information collected by Spin Insight Level 2, powered by Drover AI will be monitored, analyzed and regulated through Blue System's Mobility Manager platform. The platform will visualize and display aggregated historical data received from Spin Insight Level 2, in an easy-to-read dashboard that details whether sidewalk riding is taking place, to what degree, in what areas of the city and at what times of the day. City officials will also have access to data on how and where scooters are being parked. Based on this information, cities can make informed, data-driven decisions about micromobility programs, regulations and infrastructure impacting the safety of pedestrians and other sidewalk and street users.
"We are all in this together," said Blue Systems CEO Christophe Arnaud, "and safer e-scooter programs will benefit literally everyone in the micromobility ecosystem. We are proud to work with Spin to offer this solution to cities where we operate and are eager to explore opportunities with all cities that have e-scooter programs."
Relax! 2022 can't be any crazier than 2020 and 2021, right?
Expect expansion of micromobility services in new and existing markets. Expect different types of mobility devices including multi-passenger devices, delivery robots, autonomous devices and more. Expect ride-hailing companies to expand services and diversify. Expect OEMs to increase manufacturing of EVs. Expect e-bikes to take over the world. Expect curb to be the story of 2022 and expect the thirst for data to be significant as cities attempt to manage the ever-changing mobility landscape on the streets, sidewalks, and curbs.
Blue Systems 2022
Expect Blue Systems to lead the industry in new data integrations that help cities make mobility programs safer and more equitable. Expect Blue Systems to launch curb management projects to help cities manage and monetize the curb. Expect Blue Systems to launch its Parking Manager Platform in North America, helping cities manage all aspects of parking utilization, management, and violations. Expect Blue Systems to lead in GHG reduction projects. Expect Blue Systems to lead in Zero Emission Zone projects. Even the sky is not the limit anymore as delivery drones are already connected to Blue Systems' Platform. The future is here, the future is now. Cheers to a great (or at least better) 2022!