Irish 'smart scooter' technology company Luna has announced a partnership with US based company JUMPWatts with the aim of combining 'teleoperation' and ‘computer vision’ technology, to improve the safety and operational efficiency of shared electric scooter fleets.

The companies are planning to work together on a pilot project in the Smart DCU Campus in Dublin.

The partnership aims to provide a solution to the escalating global problem of e-scooters being in the wrong location relative to user demand and cluttering footpaths, leading to inconvenience and hazards - particularly for wheelchair users and the visually impaired.

JUMPWatts, a Los Angeles based micromobility teleoperations start-up, has created ‘Virtual Valet’, a suite of technologies that allows any e-scooter to right itself if tipped-over, remotely re-position itself to a designated parking zone, and be summoned by riders to a specific location.

Luna provides world-first computer vision solutions to shared micromobility operators, to tackle the issues associated with e-scooter rental schemes, such as footpath/sidewalk riding, pedestrian collision, and improper parking.

Through the combination of both companies’ technologies in this pilot project, it is envisaged that the adoption of shared e-scooter schemes will accelerate greatly by solving key safety and governance issues being identified by city authorities across the globe.

JUMPWatts’ teleoperation and autonomous technology combined with Luna’s vision technology will make fleet operations much more cost effective for operators and will make dockless micromobility much more attractive to cities.

The new semi-autonomous fleets enabled by this collaboration will also be able to collect Smart City data ranging from road condition monitoring and crowd analytics to traffic congestion alerts and curbside management applications.

The joint technologies will be test-bedded in partnership with Smart DCU, a District of Smart Dublin. Smart Dublin is an initiative founded by the four Dublin Local Authorities, with the goal of future-proofing the Dublin region by trialing and scaling innovative solutions to a wide range of local challenges.

Andrew Fleury, co-founder & CEO, Luna said the issue of e-scooter footpath clutter is one that is currently hampering numerous cities and towns across the world. "Luna believes that the combined technologies of Luna and JUMPWatts will help to address this issue and offer a solution that will be compelling for both operators and cities alike."

Arun Gunasekaran, co-founder & CEO, JUMPWatts said the micromobility space is ripe for innovations that not only improve the bottom line for fleet operators, but also create a better experience for users and municipalities. "Our vehicle enhancement technology, Virtual Valet, is just that — a way to increase profitability and decrease chaos in the streets. Our Virtual Valet technology can be retrofitted to enhance existing fleets or designed into vehicles for direct integration, leading to a 95% reduction in sidewalk nuisances and up to 40% increase in fleet profitability.

"Utilizing Luna Systems’ advanced computer vision software alongside our offering provides best in class situational awareness for our remote repositioning systems."