In a world where e-scooters are becoming more popular by the day, it’s no surprise that companies like TIER Mobility would want to get in on this new craze. The European leader announced today they have acquired US-based technology company Fantasmo with plans for continued investment and development of their Camera Positioning System (CPS). This innovative positioning tech can accurately validate parking within 20cm or less which will make sure riders always know exactly where they’re allowed to go during your ride!
With this purchase, TIER will help to bring order to city streets and protect vulnerable road users including visually impaired people, by using technology to stop users from parking in a no-go areas. This will also help to address challenges such as sidewalk riding and tandem riding and further ensure TIER e-scooters set the standard for city compliance.
TIER has also announced today it plans to introduce a new computer vision-based driver assistance technology that can detect traffic violations and collisions as well as reckless riding on the scooter. Riders who do not follow the rules and regulations will be alerted to their offenses and may even be fined or banned. The new technology is currently being tested privately and will be rolled out in cities around the world in the coming months.
TIER and next-generation mapping company Fantasmo have established a strong relationship in the last 12 months, with Fantasmo successfully supporting TIER’s efforts to eliminate irresponsible parking, resolving a major concern for city authorities and pedestrians, in particular people with visual impairment. The company rolled out Fantasmo’s CPS first in Paris and later in other locations across TIER’s network of 185+ cities throughout Europe and the Middle East, including London, York, Dusseldorf and Leipzig.
TIER is committed to setting the bar high for safety and orderly operations in the micro-mobility industry and is continuously pioneering the development of new standards. In Paris, for example, TIER managed to improve parking compliance using Fantasmo’s 3D mapping, which has been in use since Spring 2021 and is so far the only provider with a proven technology-based solution to tackle irresponsible parking.
Matthias Laug, CTO and co-founder of TIER, said: “The acquisition of Fantasmo is another example of our continuous investment in innovative features and technologies that make e-scooters more compliant and safer for all road users. 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. Our plan is to expand the positioning technology to numerous cities in Europe and the Middle East in the near future and at the same time invest in the upcoming computer vision-powered rider assistance system.”
Jameson Detweiler, President and co-founder of Fantasmo, said: “We have been working with TIER closely for over a year, and have experienced firsthand their commitment to be the best micro-mobility platform for cities, citizens and riders. We are excited to continue on this journey together as we continue to expand our CPS powered parking validation technology and into the future by bringing that technology and advanced rider assistance systems directly onto vehicles. We are confident that with TIER’s operational and vehicle experience and Fantasmo’s computer vision technology, we can ensure micro-mobility vehicles, pedestrians and everyone else will be able to exist together harmoniously.”
Future plans – computer vision-based driver assistance technology
The new computer vision-based driver assistance feature, which is currently being tested, is enabled by CPS technology and allows for high positional accuracy and centimeter-level mapping. Unlike other solutions that use GPS tracking, Fantasmo’s unique technology provides an extremely accurate representation of vehicle location, even in dense urban environments where the GPS signal does not work reliably. Paired with the vision sensor, TIER’s new IoT platform will create the most advanced ARAS system to date.
Fantasmo builds 3D maps of cities by foot, walking, for example, over 2,500 km of Paris streets with its camera. Because Fantasmo maps cities at the ground level, its positioning technology is considerably more accurate than satellite-based GPS. As with TIER’s previous parking system, any user attempting to park in a no-go area, or outside of a designated parking bay, will not be able to end a ride. The feature requires no additional parking infrastructure from cities – only a completed 3D mapping of the city in question.
The amount of the purchase price and further financial details of the transaction will not be disclosed. Adding to its current workforce of more than 1,200 employees, TIER will retain all 15 of Fantasmo’s highly skilled experts in Europe and in the US. The acquisition is the latest significant move for TIER, following the purchases of micro-mobility operator Spin, Europe’s top bike-share player nextbike, the Italian subsidiary of Wind Mobility, as well as Hungarian tech agency Makery. In October last year, TIER announced the closing of its US$200 million Series D funding round. To date, TIER has raised a total of $660 million in equity and debt.
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