London e-bike firm Forest is to use AI technology to review phots of its users’ parked e-bikes. The tech will score the bike as parked ‘well’, ‘satisfactorily’ or ‘poorly’. If parked ‘poorly’, the user will be prompted to repark it into a ‘better’ position.
Forest, which rebranded from HumanForest earlier this year, partnered with Captur AI to design and implement the technology, which it says will improve its users’ adherence to parking regulations across the capital.
Speaking to ebiketips, Forest says the photo gets scored a percentage - which will then fall into one of those three categories - based on the parameters of ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ parking:
Unsafe: abandoned on the pavement, blocking an exit/entry, blocking vehicle access, in the road, on tactile pavement, obstructing the pavement, sticking out of a bike rack.
Safe: in a bike rack, near a fixed object, parked with no obstruction, in a mandatory parking bay/station.
Alex Berwin, Forest’s head of policy, said: “We really appreciate that London’s public realms are cherished spaces and they need to be protected. We also know that there is huge demand for our services across the capital and the vast majority of our users wish to use our bikes responsibly.
“That’s why we’ve added a game-changing solution into the Forest app which harnesses artificial intelligence to encourage positive parking behaviours from our community. As the first micromobility company to enter into this space we hope it will pave the way for other initiatives to ensure the sector continues to thrive.”
Forest adopted the technology in June and says that since then the accuracy of Captur’s AI has increased by 15% as it, “actively learns from seeing new scenarios”. Users will begin to receive the post-parking in-app message prompting them to repark, if needed, from this week.
During October, Forest will also reward the top 20 users who consistently park with high scores with 100 free minutes. Forest says it hopes that this approach will, “prompt long-term behavioural change in users, whilst also drawing attention to the important issue of responsible parking in the dockless e-bike market.”
Charlotte Bax, Captur’s founder and CEO, said: “Adopting AI is top of mind for every company, but still only a small minority have been able to successfully make the leap from concept to production. This partnership is a fantastic example of applying AI to solve real problems at a large scale.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Forest as they lead the shared mobility industry in innovating rider experience with Captur’s smart cameras. Together we can accelerate the growth in adoption of shared mobility without the risk to cities, pedestrians, and riders.”