Micromobility joint venture Tier Mobility on Wednesday said it had acquired U.S.-based computer vision e-scooter parking startup Phantasmo, which Tech Tier was testing in several European cities.
This level will involve all 15 Fantasmo employees, who will continue to invest and develop what will now become the internal camera positioning system (CPS) technology, which the company says is more accurate than GPS and will mark e-scooters within 20 years. . confirm. centimeter or less.
The acquisition is indicative of Tier’s commitment to reduce the impact of “public nuisance” from scooters parked on sidewalks, as well as an ongoing pattern of strategic acquisitions, either for vertical integration or to acquire more land and vehicles.
Neither company is disclosing the terms of the deal, which we expect from Tier. This is the Berlin-based company’s fourth purchase in five months, each as financially baffling as the last. In November 2021, Tier bought German bike-sharing startup Nextbike and in December acquired Vento Mobility, Wind Mobility’s Italian e-scooter business. More recently, Tier acquired the Spin model from Ford, which entered the North American market.
Over the past year, Tier has implemented the Fantasmo card solution to eliminate irresponsible parking, first in Paris and later in other locations, including London, York, Düsseldorf and Leipzig. CPS technology means drivers use the camera on their phone to scan the area where they parked their scooter, recording information such as patterns in buildings or signage to determine the vehicle’s position. This metadata is then compared to Phantasmo’s 3D maps to accurately determine the vehicle’s position.
According to Ryan Meisel, co-founder and CEO of Fantasmo, Fantasmo has mapped 20 to 25 cities, mostly in Europe and some in North America. With the support of Tier, this number is likely to increase, but not only in favor of Tier.
There are other micromobility operators in the Fantasmo portfolio, including Hellbiz. Tier said it has no plans to end the relationship if the counterparty is interested in continuing and to make the Fantasmo technology more accessible by increasing the R&D budget to speed up development.
“We are going to use our service domestically, but also offer it as a service to other operators with the idea that it can be a solution for cities in general and the entire market. Can get to the point where it can meet compliance requirements,” Messel told gaming-updates.
This means that Tier will not only benefit from Fantasmo’s technology, but will also be able to add an additional revenue stream by selling services to other carriers or applications.
Scooter ADAS trend deepens
Most of the major players in the industry are currently testing or implementing a Scooter ADAS variant that not only avoids bad parking but also prevents bad driving. For example, Superpedestrian acquired Navmatic last year to integrate the company’s ultra-precise location technology, which can detect and correct unsafe driving. Bird developed a similar technology internally.
On Wednesday, Tier also announced its plans to introduce new computer vision-based driver assistance technology that can detect traffic violations and collisions, as well as reckless scooter riding. This technology is based on Fantasmo’s CPS for high positioning accuracy and centimeter-level display, and is combined with a vision sensor and Tier’s new IoT platform.
“Riders who do not comply with the rules and regulations will be warned of their violation and may be fined or even sanctioned,” Thier said in a statement. “The new technology is currently undergoing private trials and will be rolled out to cities around the world in the coming months.”
The company will no longer provide information about this “new technology”, such as what exactly is meant by a “vision sensor” and how Tier’s new IoT platform will help simplify it. However, the company said the new technology will not be part of any previous or existing programs that this level is working with third parties.
Now part of Tier again, Spin is working with Drover AI to implement computer vision technology, which essentially involves tethering a camera to a scooter so it can “see” if it’s driving in the right lane, if it’s moving on the pavement or not . parked incorrectly. Tier has a similar program with Luna on the campuses of City University Dublin.
Drover AI also refused to work with Tier on a new project. When pressed, a Tier spokesperson responded that both partnerships are considered obsolete, with no plans or support for further or deeper integration. Tier’s sole purpose is to bring its new interior solutions with Fantasmo to scale next year, the spokesperson said.