Tier acquires camera positioning tech pioneer to help enforce safer e-scooter parking


Tier Mobility, the German shared micro-mobility provider, has acquired the US next-generation mapping company Fantasmo.

With the acquisition, Tier is investing to tackle challenges like irresponsible parking, sidewalk riding and tandem riding, which it says will help to create a safer environment for all road users.

Fantasmo’s camera positioning system (CPS) is a new positioning technology that is 10 times more accurate than GPS and can validate e-scooter parking within 20cm or less. Because Fantasmo maps cities at the ground level by foot, its positioning technology is considerably more accurate than satellite-based GPS. Any user attempting to park an e-scooter in a no-go area, or outside of a designated parking bay, will not be able to end a ride.

The two companies have formed a strong relationship over the last 12 months, with Fantasmo supporting Tier’s efforts to eliminate irresponsible parking, which is a major concern for city authorities and pedestrians, in particular people with visual impairment. Tier has rolled out Fantasmo’s CPS first in Paris, France and later in other locations across its network of more than 185 cities throughout Europe and the Middle East.

“The acquisition of Fantasmo is a major step forward in our continuous investment in innovative features and technologies that will help to make e-scooters more compliant and safer for all road users,” says Matthias Laug, CTO and co-founder of Tier. “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.”

“We have been working with Tier closely for over a year, and have experienced first-hand their commitment to be the best micro-mobility platform for cities, citizens and riders,” says Jameson Detweiler, president and co-founder of Fantasmo. “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.”

Tier plans to introduce a new computer vision-based driver assistance technology that can detect traffic violations and collisions as well as reckless riding on a scooter. Riders who do not follow the rules and regulations will be alerted to their offenses. The new feature is enabled by CPS technology and allows for high positional accuracy and centimeter-level mapping. Fantasmo’s technology provides an extremely accurate representation of vehicle location, even in dense urban environments where the GPS signal does not work reliably.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).