An Irish technology consortium has partnered with a US e-scooter operator to test a system that enables devices to be located to within centimetres.
Luna will also work with Dublin City University and Smart Dublin to pilot the location technology.
The technology will be deployed on Blue Duck's electric scooters on the DCU campus in Glasnevin north Dublin.
According to Luna, the technology is a significant step forward, as before now GPS technology could only locate items with a meter level of accuracy.
This is not sufficient to enable operators to pinpoint where shared e-scooters left in public areas could pose a safety and legal hazard, including trips, trespass and pedestrian collisions.
If validated, the pilot could help e-scooter operators, like Texas based Blue Duck, to comply more closely with increasingly strict by-laws and regulations in cities where they offer a service.
This is because Luna’s platform can pinpoint the location of a scooter to within 5cm. Luna is a consortium of industry leaders from across Europe specialising in these areas.
"Our partnership with Blue Duck will generate invaluable data which aims to inform policy here in Ireland and once commercially launched, will hopefully pave a path towards the adoption of this form of high accuracy positioning technology," said Andrew Fleury, Luna CEO.
At present, e-scooters are banned from the roads here, although legislation in the area is currently being considered.
"Luna’s centimeter-level GPS technology is an intriguing advancement that has the potential to significantly upgrade our electric scooter operations," said Blue Duck CEO, Michael Keane.
"That level of precision would allow us to locate our scooters more efficiently and would lead to stricter compliance with geofencing requirements."
"A successful outcome of this pilot test could lead to significant enhancements to our ability to manage our fleets responsibly while providing exceptional service to our partners and riders."