Superpedestrian designs and builds its Link e-scooters for shared use in 59 cities in 10 countries in the U.S., Europe and Turkey. There are 35,000 Link scooters worldwide. The company designs and engineers the vehicles in Cambridge and builds them in China.
"In the last two years, infrastructure challenges and lack of equitable access to transit options in both urban and suburban communities across the U.S. have underscored the need for developing safe, reliable transportation options for all," Meredith Shields, head of Citi Impact Fund, a Superpedestrian investor, said in a written statement.
Superpedestrian's Link e-scooter launched in 2020 using its patented artificial intelligence technology, called Vehicle Intelligence, that manages the scooter's internal electronics. It identifiesproblems and fixes them in real time, avoiding costly repairs or safety hazards.
The company in 2021 announced its newest patented AI technology, called Pedestrian Defense, which helps prevent dangerous scooter driving habits, such as riding on sidewalks, making aggressive turns, stunt riding or riding against the flow of traffic. This driver behavior-analyzing technology can take over control of the scooter to slow or stop it when it detects unsafe riding based on city regulations. So far, Superpedestrian has only demonstrated Pedestrian Defense for city planners but says it will be integrated into the operating system on its scooters this year for consumer use.
"While overall the safety benefits of micromobility are evident, they do have the challenge of how to do you prevent them from encroaching on pedestrian rights of way," Paul Steely White, senior director of public affairs, told Automotive News. "Some cities want to see a hard stop when the scooter hits the sidewalk, but [many] cities would rather us warn the rider and follow up with them. We are able to tailor it to a city's needs."
The new funding will allow Superpedestrian to build scooters with Pedestrian Defense technology on board and to adapt the company's patented AI technologies for customers outside the e-scooter space, White said, though he would not provide details.