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TIER buys Fantasmo to make e-scooter parking more accurate

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TIER has acquired US-based technology firm Fantasmo to invest in an e-scooter parking system that is ten times more accurate than GPS.

Fantasmo has built a Camera Positioning System (CPS) that can validate e-scooter parking within 20cm or less.

The new technology will stop riders from parking in no-go areas, thereby protecting vulnerable road users including the visually impaired. It will also help address challenges such as sidewalk riding and tandem riding.

No financial details of the transaction have been disclosed, but the two companies have already been working together for over a year.

Fantasmo’s CPS was first rolled out in Paris and later in other locations, including London, York, Dusseldorf and Leipzig.

The company has achieved such high positional accuracy and centimeter-level mapping by building 3D maps of cities by foot.

That means, for example, that members of Fantasmo’s team have walked over 2,500km through the streets of Paris with a camera.

Ground level shots are considerably more accurate than satellite-based GPS, providing accurate representation of a vehicle location even in dense urban environments where the GPS signal does not work reliably.

As with TIER’s previous parking system, anyone who ventures outside the no-go areas will not be able to end their ride.

The acquisition is the latest move for TIER, following the purchases of micromobility operator Spin, German-based bikeshare firm nextbike, and the Italian subsidiary of Wind Mobility.

“The acquisition of Fantasmo is another example of our continuous investment in innovative features and technologies that make e-scooters more compliant and safer for all road users,” said Matthias Laug, CTO and Co-Founder of TIER.

“We have been hugely impressed by Fantasmo’s Camera Positioning System, which allows us to directly address the concerns of vulnerable road users when it comes to how e-scooters are parked.”

TIER also announced today its plans to introduce a new computer vision-based driver assistance technology, which can detect traffic violations and collisions as well as reckless e-scooter riding. Those that do not follow the rules will be alerted to their offences and may be fined or even banned.

This new technology is currently being tested privately and will be rolled out in cities across the world in the coming months.

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