Superpedestrian and Helbiz partner with Populus on USDOT safety initiative

May 25, 2022
Populus is working with operators and cities to leverage mobility data to reduce crashes and traffic fatalities.

Populus has partnered with micromobility operators Superpedestrian and Helbiz through a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) grant funded micromobility safety initiative.  

This initiative aims to deliver municipal and regional departments of transportation with new digital and predictive solutions that decrease traffic fatalities on U.S. roads, which have increased particularly among cyclists and pedestrians. 

“Populus is excited to work with leading operators Superpedestrian and Helbiz on the USDOT safety initiative to provide novel and actionable insights from previously untapped data sources,” said Regina Clewlow, Populus co-founder and CEO. “Identifying new exposure risks early is incredibly important to create safe and sustainable streets, especially as new modes of transportation are proliferating at a faster pace than we have seen in recent history.” 

Populus will work with the USDOT and strategic partners to harness big data from micromobility to reduce the risks of crashes and improve transportation safety outcomes. Populus will harness data from some of the 110 million trips processed on its platform in the U.S. from shared bikes, electric bikes and electric scooters, as well as data from representative surveys in 18 major metro areas to demonstrate actionable analytics related to safety issues. 

“Superpedestrian is honored to partner with the USDOT safety initiative to further demonstrate our commitment to serving cities and riders alike with the smartest and safest e-scooters in the industry,” said Jamie Perkins, Superpedestrian's director of communications. “Ours are the first and only e-scooters with on-board vehicle intelligence that autonomously performs vehicle safety checks, ensuring scooters are safe before every ride.  

“With the rollout this year of our Pedestrian Defense platform, we’re working toward safety for all street users. The aggregate data from this platform will also provide new insights into safety on our city streets, giving transportation officials and policymakers the data they need to implement street improvements. It is our honor to stand alongside other industry leaders to support the US DOT Safety Initiative,” concluded Perkins. 

The initiative aims to evolve from retroactive to proactive analysis. By integrating existing and new data sources, USDOT hopes to identify and address emerging risks from new modes and patterns of transportation so that it can intervene more quickly to save lives. By moving towards predictive analysis, USDOT says it hopes to reduce the number of fatalities that occur on roads each year. 

“Helbiz’s commitment to safety starts before riders even unlock a scooter. We invest in cutting-edge technology like computer vision for obstacle avoidance to limit sidewalk riding and protect riders and pedestrians. We also provide access to free helmets and host safety classes for the communities we service,” said Vivian Myrtetus, head of partnerships and policy, Hebliz. “We’re proud to partner with the Department of Transportation on our shared goal of creating safer roads so riders can confidently get out of their cars and onto transportation alternatives, like electric scooters and bicycles.”