Powered by Google’s ARCore Geospatial API, Bird’s visual parking system enforces parking norms and is available for free to the e-scooter provider’s city partners.
Electric micromobility company Bird has introduced a visual parking system (VPS) that requires zero infrastructure or tech investment on behalf of a community.
Bird VPS is a scalable, “first-of-its-kind parking” parking tool, powered by Google’s ARCore Geospatial API. The technology enables Bird to geo-localise parked scooters with pinpoint accuracy by leveraging years of Google 3D scanning, augmented reality (AR) technology and Google Maps’ Street View data from around the world.
With this new technology, Bird claims riders can more “accurately and precisely” end their rides in a tidy manner while adhering to communities’ parking guidelines in a bid to keep walkways and ramps free of obstruction.
“The new ARCore Geospatial API from Google is an absolute game changer for micromobility that allows us to offer cities a first-of-its-kind visual parking system that’s unmatched in terms of accuracy and scalability,” said Justin Balthrop, chief technology officer at Bird.
“With Bird VPS, we’re able to meet cities’ number one need, proper parking, in a way that’s never been possible before, and we’re able to do it at scale in cities around the world thanks to Google’s robust global data and technology.”
The technology exists within the Bird app and can be used on both iOS and Android operating systems, allowing for it to scale to all Bird riders over time and to be immune to theft or vandalism, unlike other parking technologies.
“The new ARCore Geospatial API from Google is an absolute game changer for micromobility that allows us to offer cities a first-of-its-kind visual parking system that’s unmatched in terms of accuracy and scalability”
There are three steps to take when using VPS. They are:
- scan – when ending a ride, the rider is prompted to quickly scan the surrounding area with the camera on their smartphone
- analyse – using Google’s new ARCore Geospatial API, Bird instantaneously compares the rider’s images to those in Google’s knowledge base of data and Street View images
- park – with the resulting centimetre-level geolocation, Bird VPS will either allow the rider to park and go (if it complies with local city parking requirements) or prompt them to correct the vehicle’s parking before ending the ride.
VPS is free for Bird’s city partners, and is currently being piloted in New York City, San Francisco and San Diego with plans to expand to more of Bird’s some 400 partner cities.