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CASE STUDY

A Micromobility Company Achieves Compliance with Local Government Regulations

See how NextBillion.ai built a custom mapping solution for this micro-mobility company to comply with local regulations and demonstrate its commitment to work with regional authorities in cities across the world.


5 min read | Posted on 2021-09-29

The Problem

A micromobility company running e-scooter operations in 22 cities spread across five countries and four continents was facing a unique set of challenges.

With differing rules and regulations to be followed in each of these cities, the company needed to work closely with various regional authorities to ensure that they would be operating within the appropriate guidelines for any given city.

These guidelines included safety measures and e-scooter-specific restrictions like sidewalk speed limits, parking and no-parking zones, defined areas of operation, designated low-speed zones, and more.

Since there was a large amount of variability between e-scooter guidelines for each city, the company needed a mapping solution provider that could take into account the unique rules of every location and offer bespoke maps for each.

No other player in the mapping space could provide the required level of customizability — this is where NextBillion.ai stepped in.

Our Solution

The company chose to begin their engagement with us by optimizing their operation in Brisbane, Australia.

To get started, they needed a mapping solution that would:

  • Be fully optimized for e-scooter travel behavior and patterns
  • Take into account the city council regulations and restrictions
  • Suggest the quickest and safest routes for customers to reach their destinations

Upon analyzing the requirements laid out by the micromobility company, we quickly identified a solution architecture that would effectively meet their needs. Our solution would have 4 major components:

1. Base Map - We first set up a custom map layer covering the company’s service area boundary and then began populating it with e-scooter-specific data. Since the e-scooters wouldn’t be allowed on roads, we added the city’s pedestrian and ferry networks to form the base map.

2. Custom APIs - Our next step was to create the required AI- and ML-powered custom e-scooter APIs, which would work together to ensure a safe and efficient experience for the users.

  • Directions API — To generate the quickest feasible routes from a user’s point of origin to their desired destination
  • Snap-to-Road API — To provide a smooth in-app navigation experience that precisely reflects real-world routes

3. Map Data - We then focused on enhancing the base map layer by adding detailed information about local variables and government-defined restrictions and guidelines. Combining all this disparate data from various sources into a single editable map layer was easily accomplished with NextBillion.ai’s Map Data Management as a Service (MDaaS) offering, which enables seamless integration of first- and third-party data. This helped us provide maps that are always fresh, relevant, and detailed with hyper-local nuances like:

  • Sidewalks and bicycle lanes
  • Busy intersections
  • Unsafe neighborhoods
  • Construction areas
  • Terrain information
  • Time and weather conditions

4. Custom E-scooter Routing Features - Our last step was to incorporate e-scooter-specific routing restrictions and customizations as specified by the micromobility company. This was done using NextBillion.ai’s proprietary Road Restriction Tool. Customizations included:

  • Parking and no-parking zones
  • Areas of operation and restricted areas
  • Designated low-speed zones
  • Sidewalk speed limits
  • Road closures
  • Conditional restrictions

The fourth and final component now in place, our solution was ready for action.

The Outcome

With our bespoke e-scooter-specific map for the city of Brisbane, the micromobility company was able to provide a much safer e-scooter platform and achieve better compliance with the local governing body’s regulations for personal mobility devices — something that proved impossible with other map providers.

This served as a demonstration to other city authorities across the world that the company was willing, able, and committed to working closely with them to achieve compliance and meet safety standards and licensing requirements.

If you’re interested in bespoke maps that incorporate hyper-local nuances and custom routing preferences, reach out to us now!


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