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Hilo lighting technology to boost micromobility safety at night

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British tech startup Hilo EV has developed an intelligent lighting module which connects to micromobility vehicles to make them more visible at night. 

The Intelligent Road Illumination System (IRIS) uses AI computer vision to react to environmental situations and warn other road users of the rider’s presence.

Having observed firsthand how Hilo’s e-scooter, the Hilo One, saw the safety impacts of the IRIS technology last year, the company has now made the technology available for use by other OEMs to make micromobility vehicles more visible across the whole industry. 

“Safety is a crucial aspect of adopting micromobility solutions, and it’s at the forefront of our mission with IRIS,” Hilo Co-Founder James Browne told Zag Daily.

“Concerns about visibility, particularly in low-light conditions, and interactions with larger vehicles can impact the willingness of users to embrace these compact transportation options.

“By integrating IRIS technology into micromobility solutions, we can actively address safety concerns and contribute to realising the full potential of micromobility. By making these modes of transport safer, we aim to build confidence among users, encouraging broader adoption and maximising the positive impact of micromobility.” 

Hilo is already working with EAV to integrate IRIS into their e-cargo delivery bikes.

The technology works by employing strategically positioned front and rear-facing cameras which capture the view of the rider’s surroundings. Real-time AI algorithms then process this data and take into account environmental situations such as obstacles and the presence of other vehicles.

“Based on this analysis, IRIS dynamically adjusts the illumination pattern, modulating the intensity and colour of the lighting to alert other road users about the vehicle’s presence and actions.”

For instance, IRIS will cause bright flashing at the rear if another vehicle is too close, and it will flash amber at the side when the rider is turning.

The International Transport Forum found that motor vehicles are involved in 80% of crashes that result in the death of a bicycle or e-scooter rider

“While micromobility offers numerous advantages regarding sustainability and convenience, addressing safety concerns is essential to unlock its full potential,” James said.

“Our goal is to ensure that the benefits of IRIS are available to a diverse range of micromobility and minimobility vehicles, contributing to a more secure and safer environment for everyone.”

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