Tier to roll out computer vision for e-scooters with latest acquisition

1 Apr 2022

Image: Tier Mobility

Tier has been working with tech company Fantasmo to make e-scooter parking more accurate and safer for other road users.

European micromobility company Tier has acquired US tech company Fantasmo for an undisclosed amount. Tier intends to use Fantasmo’s camera-powered GPS replacement technology to deal with some of the safety challenges associated with e-scooters.

Fantasmo’s camera positioning tech is already used by Tier to ensure that e-scooters are accurately parked. The US company says its system can map cities at ground level and is up to 10 times more accurate for positioning than satellite-based GPS, and only requires a data connection and a camera.

Tier has been working closely with the company since for more than a year as part of its efforts to eradicate irresponsible e-scooter parking. The Berlin-founded start-up has already rolled out Fantasmo’s tech across its global network, having initially launched it in Paris.

Matthias Laug, CTO and co-founder of Tier, said: “From the very beginning, we’ve 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.”

In the coming months, Tier plans to invest further in tech that can make e-scooters safer for other road users.

With Fantasmo’s tech, it is testing a computer vision-based driver assistance system that can detect traffic violations when paired with a vision sensor and a new IoT platform. Riders who do not follow the rules of the road will be alerted to their offences and may even be fined or banned.

According to Jameson Detweiler, president and co-founder of Fantasmo, “We are confident that with Tier’s operational and vehicle experience and Fantasmo’s computer vision technology, we can ensure micromobility vehicles, pedestrians and everyone else will be able to exist together harmoniously.”

The acquisition by Tier is the company’s fourth in recent months. It purchased micromobility operator Spin as well as European bike-share company Nextbike, Hungarian tech agency Makery and the Italian subsidiary of Wind Mobility.

The company, which is one of many e-scooter players eyeing the Irish market, raised $200m in a Series D funding round at the end of last year.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.