Lime pilots Google’s augmented reality technology to improve e‑bike and e‑scooter parking
We’re thrilled to unveil results from an ongoing pilot run in collaboration with Google, focused on helping e-bike and e-scooter riders better identify proper parking locations on streets and sidewalks. Currently live in London, Paris, Tel Aviv, Madrid, San Diego and Bordeaux, the pilot is testing Google’s global localization feature, which uses augmented reality (AR)-enabled Visual Positioning Service (VPS) technology through Google Maps and the ARCore Geospatial API. Our pilot was first announced during Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference.
This collaboration is the latest example of how we innovate to address challenges, in this case, helping reduce poorly parked scooters on sidewalks that impede other users. In a number of cities around the world, riders must park e-bikes and e-scooters in designated parking spots identified primarily in the Lime app using location data. The app relies on location technology to accurately determine their location before they can end their ride. With the ARCore Geospatial API, riders are able pinpoint their exact location with Google’s global localization augmented reality technology by opening the Lime app and quickly scanning where they are with their phone’s camera and sensors. This helps Lime identify the exact location of the vehicle and ensure vehicles are parked in the correct and safe location, out of the way of pedestrians.
“We strongly believe that sidewalks must be accessible to all and this partnership with Google shows promise in reducing misparked vehicles that might impede pedestrians and persons with disabilities,” said Joe Kraus, President at Lime. “We know our riders feel more confident taking a Lime when they understand where and how to park correctly, and we’re excited to continue working with Google to improve this experience.”
Results from the pilot are promising; thanks to the ARCore Geospatial API, riders were able to improve the location accuracy of their vehicle parking as compared to traditional GPS, which varies depending on location. Results also found that riders who used the new tool saw a 26% decrease in parking errors compared with riders who did not have it enabled.
This pilot with Google is the latest example of our experimentation with innovations to improve parking, one of cities’ highest priorities. We deploy a wide range of parking solutions tailored to meet local regulations and achieve cities’ goals of keeping the pedestrian's right of way clear of its vehicles. While academic research examining e-scooter parking in five US cities found that fewer than 2% of scooters are actually parked incorrectly, we take proper e-scooter parking seriously, with investments, partnerships and ongoing rider education to improve compliance.