How Precise Positioning Optimizes E-Scooter Use And Drives Green Mobility

Precise positioning used with near-consumer-grade hardware has found relevance in the green mobility sector. But how does it specifically help optimize the use of e-scooters? What role does it play in green mobility and how does it benefit manufacturers? This article dissects it all:

Precise positioning and green mobility
Published 9 Feb 2023Updated 9 Feb 2023
Autor Name

Nilay D.

Table of Content

  • All is not hunky dory in the world of green mobility
    • Could the Internet of Things be the answer?
      • Enter precise positioning: What is it, exactly?
        • Why is it so important in green transportation?
        • How can precise positioning optimize e-scooter usage?
          • 1. Accurate local information
            • 2. Curbs unnecessary expenses
              • 3. Efficient route planning
                • 4. Smart traffic management
                  • 5. Preventative measure
                    • 6. Reduced fines
                    • Benefits of precise positioning in green mobility 
                      • 1. Increased environmental sustainability
                        • 2. Enhanced user experience
                          • 3. Easy travels
                          • How precise positioning will optimize the e-scooter functionalities
                            • 1. High-precision map-matching
                              • 2. Real-time data tracking
                                • 3. Accurate geofencing
                                  • 4. Sidewalk detection
                                  • The positive impact of precise positioning on green mobility for OEMs
                                    • Over to you

                                      Shared electric scooters are becoming a popular mode of transportation worldwide, especially in bigger cities where curbing pollution is a massive challenge.

                                      It is easy to see why people like them - e-scooters are an environmentally friendly answer to the modern transportation system and a faster way to move around. Moreover, riding a shared e-scooter is more cost-effective than owning a car.

                                      All OEMs of e-scooters want to incentivize a fundamental change in travel habits, improve the e-scooter rider experience, and support the highest levels of safety and sustainability in the markets where they operate. Your manufacturing business would also be no exception. 

                                      All is not hunky dory in the world of green mobility

                                      The sector is fraught with pitfalls and for a reason. Using shared e-scooters leads to conflict potential at times when the end-users leave them at inconvenient locations, such as the middle of the sidewalk or dump them in the midst of nowhere!

                                      This behavior only spoils the idea of a green alternative to mobility. Plus, it can also be a cost factor for the OEM who has to manufacture more e-scooters than desired because the end-users do not want to hire an electric scooter thrown into the bushes or caked in mud.

                                      To ensure that e-scooters are left somewhere safe after use, you can define charging stations in large, open spaces and work with the municipal corporations to specify parking zones or local docking, ensuring the users can end a hire only at defined places.

                                      Could the Internet of Things be the answer?

                                      Yes, you can also equip your e-scooters with IoT technology for locating them. Earlier, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) data used to be leveraged for defining the location of e-scooters. However, GNSS was not “precise” enough and did not often acknowledge when the e-scooters were returned to an authorized area, hampering the user experience. 

                                      Enter precise positioning: What is it, exactly?

                                      What is Precise Positioning?

                                      Precise positioning, also known as Precise Point Positioning (PPP), is a technology that uses Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) for position detection. It determines the exact location of an object or user.

                                      PPP uses a network of worldwide reference stations to calculate accurate estimations of GNSS satellite orbits and clock inaccuracies. The results of these calculations are subsequently transmitted by satellite or the internet to the final user.

                                      In comparison to Real Time Kinematics (RTK) and Differential Global Navigation Satellite System (DGNSS), the PPP technique is more reliable and precise.

                                      Why is it so important in green transportation?

                                      It is especially important for green mobility applications, such as connected and autonomous vehicles (including e-scooters), where knowing their exact location can help ensure safe operation and optimize travel routes.

                                      The method offers up to three centimeters of accuracy. By providing accurate, real-time location information about e-scooters on the road, PPP helps improve efficiency in terms of fuel consumption, driver safety, and environmental protection.

                                      Additionally, precise positioning provides data accuracy to OEMs that assists in event detection, enabling e-scooters to respond to potential risks faster than ever before.

                                      The precise positioning technique is commonly used in robots, autonomous navigation, agriculture, construction, mining, and other applications where centimeter-scale accuracy is typically required.

                                      How can precise positioning optimize e-scooter usage?

                                      It is true many e-scooter manufacturers already deploy software that limits the vehicles’ area of use through geofencing. For instance, certain areas of Zurich are closed to e-scooters.

                                      That means, if an e-scooter enters that area, the ride is switched off by the software. In addition, there are provisions to automatically impose a fine on that user.

                                      However, the existing geofencing technology is only accurate within a few meters, losing its relevance after covering some distance. It cannot prevent e-scooters riders from using the wrong lane or driving on the pavement. 

                                      Renting electric bikes and scooters - a popular choice in urban settings - require exact Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) to meet consumer demand and fully tap into their potential. Precise positioning can help optimize the usage of e-scooters in the following ways:

                                      1. Accurate local information

                                      Precise positioning offers accurate, real-time location information about every vehicle from a fleet of e-scooters. If the rider trespasses in a specific area or parks the e-scooter the wrong way, they can be penalized and the vehicle can be switched off from the backend - without carrying the limitations of geofencing. The technology basically allows real-time tracking of the e-scooters and makes locating a micro-mobility device simpler.

                                      2. Curbs unnecessary expenses

                                      The technology helps save maintenance and operating costs incurred for e-scooters while ensuring compliance with local laws. No manufacturer would want to make the mistake of letting their riders go where they are not supposed to. It also optimizes the cost of pick-up and drop-off services.

                                      3. Efficient route planning

                                      Improved route planning supported by precise positioning ensures that end-users take the most efficient routes across cities and towns, reducing time spent on roads and emissions discharged into the environment.

                                      How can precise positioning optimize e-scooter usage?

                                      4. Smart traffic management

                                      It increases embracing green mobility options - whether electric vehicles and scooters or ride-sharing and supports smart traffic management through accurate forecasting techniques to help anticipate and avoid traffic congestion, and control traffic flow.

                                      5. Preventative measure

                                      With precise positioning, service technicians can also quickly identify the position of e-scooters with damaged or dead batteries to avoid service interruptions and potential breakdowns. So, yes - all these functionalities make precise positioning technology an invaluable tool for optimizing the usage of e-scooters.

                                      6. Reduced fines

                                      Parking compliance requires excellent location accuracy but this is often supplemented with how well the route of the e-scooter rider is planned. Precise positioning trends towards lightweight stations and non-electrical parking corrals.

                                      That way, it minimizes paying city fines for improper parking as that is a huge cost for e-scooter OEMs and other micro-mobility companies.

                                      Benefits of precise positioning in green mobility 

                                      An increasing number of people are embracing green mobility to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute positively to preserving the environment. The key benefits of leveraging precise positioning for green mobility include:

                                      1. Increased environmental sustainability

                                      By using precise positioning, e-scooters can reduce travel time, which, in turn, decreases emissions from fuel combustion. This technology helps minimize energy use and reduce traffic congestion and pollution, and can lead to fuel savings.

                                      Benefits of precise positioning in green mobility

                                      2. Enhanced user experience

                                      With this technology, e-scooters can accurately navigate through traffic jams, construction zones, and parking facilities, enabling drivers to save time and enjoy a superior experience on the road.

                                      3. Easy travels

                                      Precise positioning is a satellite-based technology that provides accurate location information, allowing riders to get real-time directions even in areas with limited or no cellular service. The accurate navigation provided by precise positioning makes it easier for passengers to reach their destinations without any hassle. 

                                      By improving the efficiency of operations, precise positioning can help end-users to plan their travel in advance and decide whether they should leave at a different time, take a different route, or use a different mode of transportation.

                                      How precise positioning will optimize the e-scooter functionalities

                                      1. High-precision map-matching

                                      The science of mapping involves comparing a set of recorded geographic coordinates to an existing map. Map-matching must be quick and accurate for use cases involving safety features and autonomous driving. There must be no latency, and map matching must be reliable down to the lane level.

                                      2. Real-time data tracking

                                      The in-vehicle map-matching produces a single, accurate vehicle trace. It uses the data from available cameras and sensors for precise location.

                                      Features of precise positioning

                                      3. Accurate geofencing

                                      The dependability and safety of the e-scooter service are directly impacted by accurate geofencing or virtual geographic borders. It establishes the permitted riding and parking zones for scooters as well as the top speeds at which they may go in particular locations. Precise positioning and robust signal responses are necessary for implementing geo-fencing.

                                      4. Sidewalk detection

                                      Most accessibility issues with e-scooters are caused by their use on sidewalks. E-scooters are designed to be driven on roads, not on sidewalks. Sidewalk detection helps e-scooter service providers to track the movement of scooters on sidewalks and ensure that riders are adhering to local regulations. It increases riders' and the public’s safety.

                                      The positive impact of precise positioning on green mobility for OEMs

                                      Precise positioning is driving green mobility forward and has had a significant impact on the wider adoption of eco-friendly solutions. 

                                      It is a scalable and subscription-based strategy, saving the end-users’ money on fuel and reducing infrastructure expenditures for the local authorities and manufacturers. Precise positioning positively enhances the benefits of green technology in the following ways:

                                      • The system outsources data processing to the cloud. Consequently, an infinite number of vehicles — from autonomous cars on the motorway to smart tractors tending fields can retrieve data simultaneously in real time. Likewise, e-scooters also benefit.
                                      • Designed to fulfill the most demanding and critical applications, precise positioning delivers high-integrity e-scooter positioning. It ensures the safe operation of autonomous vehicles within their designated environments.
                                      • The technology reduces the cost spent on fuel and maintenance of the fleet - which is a boon for OEMs.
                                      • It reduces emissions by enabling e-scooters to travel at optimal speeds for a given route. Autonomous navigation systems calculate the most efficient paths to reduce carbon dioxide production while traveling from one point to the other in an environmentally friendly manner.

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                                      Over to you

                                      Manufacturers can make e-scooters safer with the help of precise positioning. The technology offers them a far higher level of accuracy than GNSS or geofencing alone, and the corrective service virtually eliminates even the smallest positioning mistakes.

                                      Furthermore, the cloud-based precise positioning solutions are expandable to accommodate any number of e-scooters, which means, as a manufacturer, you can cast a wider net of clients and their end-users.

                                      In terms of the future of green mobility, precise positioning entails the highest level of safety and affordability in supporting road traffic. Who does not want to bank on technology?

                                      We at IntuThings build innovative IoT products utilizing advanced methods and highly secure infrastructure for manufacturers. If you want to create robust software that supports precise positioning or similar technologies in your mobility solutions, share your business goals and challenges with us by filling out the contact form.

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