August 31, 2021
The ZooZ safe micro-mobility platform is based on a V2X device and a smart V2X sign. The compact V2X device is installed on the handlebar of all types of bikes and scooters, both electric and non-electric
ZooZ is expected to connect micro mobility to the vehicle safety network, increasing drivers’ awareness to bikes and scooters in order to prevent accidents
Autotalks, a V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) communication solutions pioneer and leader, is launching ZooZ, a micro-mobility safety platform for preventing bike and scooter accidents with the use of V2X. The company is already in discussions with manufacturing and integration partners in order to implement the platform. Autotalks is adapting its own V2X solutions to mitigate the sharp rise in accidents involving two-wheelers and will officially launch ZooZ on September 7-12 at the IAA Mobility show (hall B5, booth D50) in Munich, Germany.
Autotalks, established in 2008, was the first company to create V2X chipsets. These chipsets are now used by top tier car manufacturers. In 2018, Autotalks became the first company to offer a global V2X solution unifying DSRC and C-V2X communications technologies on a deployment-ready chipset. Now, after taking part in five mass production automotive production programs, the company is leveraging its expertise in the vehicle market and working to spearhead the creation of a V2X-based micro mobility safety network.
The ZooZ concept platform is based on a V2X device and a smart sign. The compact device is installed on the handlebar of all types of bikes and scooters, electric and non-electric. It alerts when a vehicle equipped with V2X is endangering a cyclist and informs other V2X equipped vehicles and smart signs about the existence of the cyclist. The ZooZ device will be integrated into bike computers. The smart sign reliably alerts drivers, even those without V2X, when a bike or scooter with a device is entering an intersection. All road-users, including cars, bikers, scooters, motorcycles, and pedestrians will communicate with each other through V2X to form a safety network.
The ZooZ device is expected to handle a wide variety of use cases, including scenarios such as blind spot alert, bike ahead alert, intersection safety and group communication. The blind spot alert use case prevents a scenario of a car turning right and cutting the bike lane. The bike ahead alert prevents a scenario of a driver being surprised by a bike hidden behind a curve on a countryside or mountain road. In the intersection safety use case, the platform prevents a scenario of a driver turning right or left while failing to see the cyclist entering the intersection. The group communication allows for a safe and simple exchange of messages between a group of cyclists.
The ZooZ smart sign will be designed for installation at intersections. The sign lights up when a V2X equipped bike or scooter is approaching the intersection, and it alerts all drivers, even those without V2X. It is expected to be low-cost, and simple to install and to maintain. The sign does not require line-of-sight to the cyclists. Autotalks recently conducted a research study with the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, using Autotalks’ smart signposts. The results show that drivers braked 70% more when a bike was present in the intersection. This increase in awareness of the cyclists’ whereabouts did not come at the expense of attention given to others at or near the intersection.
“The surge in the use of micro mobility has changed traffic patterns and led to a sharp increase in accidents,’’ stated Onn Haran, founder and CTO of Autotalks. “The percentage of bikes and scooters in overall traffic fatalities is constantly growing. 75% of accidents are caused by driver error, failing to notice the cyclists, who are small and obstructed by other vehicles.”
Haran continued: “V2X is the only automotive safety communication technology. It is the only technology that can connect bikes and scooters to vehicles, adding them to the safety network. ZooZ is the future of micro mobility safety and is a concept of what we expect to see in every bike, scooter and car within five years. Our plan is to take the research study one step further and install our technology on all vehicles, two-wheelers and road infrastructure.”
Autotalks (www.auto-talks.com) is a V2X chipset market pioneer and leader, which helps reduce collisions on roadways and improve mobility with its automotive qualified chipsets. The company’s chipsets offer the most advanced, truly secure and highest performing global V2X communication solution designed for autonomous vehicles. Autotalks’ advanced technology, to be mass deployed in the coming years, complements the information coming from other sensors, specifically in non-line-of-sight scenarios, rough weather, or poor lighting conditions. It significantly improves overall road safety, effectively coordinating vehicles, self-driving cars, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.
Note to editors: background information on the problem of bike and scooter safety
The huge popularity of e-bikes and e-scooters along with non-electric bikes has created a chaotic situation on city streets. Cars, bikes, and scooters are all moving at different speeds and following different rules of the road. City after city tried to impose regulations but all too often with little success.
In the US, the proportion of “outside the car” fatalities, meaning motorcyclists, pedestrians, pedal cyclists, and other non-occupants, has increased from a low of 20% in 1996 to a high of 34% in 2018.
In Europe, the popularity of bicycles is reflected in their portion of 8% of road fatalities. However, safety isn’t only about fatalities. Statistics from UK show that for each fatality, around 40 people are seriously injured and an additional 200 are lightly injured. 10- to 15-year-old riders are more at risk than other age groups.
eScooters are even more dangerous than bicycles, as they are harder to balance. Ride-sharing (eScooter or eBikes for rent on-demand), which is gaining popularity in many big cities around the world, amplifies the problem. These riders tend to be less experienced, and less familiar with the specific rented equipment. Even worse is the lower likelihood of wearing a helmet.
V2X allows direct communication between vehicles and all other road users, without using the cellular network. Each unit transmits ten times per second its location, speed, and heading. Each unit receives messages from other road users, analyzes those locally, and detects a risk if exists. Since the safety is based on wireless communication, it operates even when there is no line-of-sight. The communication is range is more than 300 meter in cities and more than 1 kilometer on highways.