Shared electric scooters can be found zooming many city streets, and while convenient, they can also be a nuisance when used on sidewalks instead of roadways. After receiving complaints about sidewalk riding, the city of Santa Monica, California approached the California Polytechnic State University’s Digital Transformation Hub (DxHub) about finding a solution beyond signage and outreach campaigns.
What they developed, with help from student employee Casey Johnson, is a system to throttle scooters when they are traveling on sidewalks via a solenoid. Initial detection experiments involved a dual-band GPS receiver chipset, but after that proved insufficient, accelerometer readings were then used to sense successive periodic bumps observed in sidewalk riding. A scooter prototype was implemented with an Arduino Nano and cheap IMU module, which provided a high degree of accuracy that could be further refined in the future.
More details on the DxHub team’s project can be found here.