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Collision Avoidance technology for Scooters (CATS)


CATS implements a variety of sensors and controls to detect potential hazards. CATS then alerts the e-scooter rider of such hazards so that they can take action to avoid a collision. The solution identifies hazards like cars, pedestrians, and bikes (as e-scooters are used on roads, sidewalks, and bike lanes). The invention alerts the rider to hazards directly in the path of the e-scooter so that the rider can take quick action to avoid an accident. CATS uses off-the-shelf technology and can be integrated into any rental e-scooter (or lightweight vehicle) 



How does the CATS solution work?


  • Object detection: CATS uses a proximity sensor to detect any object in front of the e-scooter. This proximity sensor is called a Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) sensor. This sensor uses a low-powered laser to measure the distance from the e-scooter to the nearest object. The sensor functions only when the e-scooter is in motion (at least walking speed). 

  • Hazard determination: An onboard control system and software is used to determine if a detected object is a threat. Threat determination is done by calculating the “Time To Collision” using the distance to the object and the “closing velocity”. The object is considered a hazard if the “Time To Collision” is within a calibrated threshold. 

  • Rider alerts: Once a hazard is determined, CATS sends a signal to alert the rider of a potential collision. CATS uses a buzzer and an orange warning light to alert the rider. The alerts intensify as the scooter closes in on the hazard urging the rider to take quick action to avoid a crash. 

  • Collision reporting: Rental e-scooters are equipped with a GPS Tracker for real-time communications with the rental fleet operator. Should the rider fall due to a collision, the CATS “tilt sensor” will detect the fall and instruct the GPS Tracker to inform the fleet operator. In this way, local authorities are made aware and can respond quickly. This important data is also useful for crash investigation as most incidents are not reported by riders. 

  • Downed e-scooter alert and reporting: Sometimes unused e-scooters are found lying on the ground causing a tripping hazard and “sidewalk clutter”. CATS detects this condition and informs fleet operators of the downed e-scooter so that action can be taken. CATS also flashes the system’s warning lamp to identify the tripping hazard and encourage passing do-gooders to upright the e-scooter. 

How does CATS solve the problem?

CATS prevents e-scooter accidents by identifying hazards sooner than the rider might. This increases the rider’s “situational awareness”. A rider that is keenly aware of potential hazards is better prepared to take action quickly. “Active safety” systems are proven to be very effective in automotive applications and we expect that CATS will be effective for e-scooters as well. 

CATS will prevent accidents, prevent injuries, save lives, reduce sidewalk clutter, improve the overall perception of this new transportation mode, and therefore promote public acceptance of micro-mobility.

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