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Lime’s chairman on scooter company’s high tech safety plans



Lime cofounder and executive chairman Brad Bao at IGNITION
Brad Bao,
cofounder and executive chairman of Lime, speaks with Business
Insider’s deputy executive editor Cadie Thompson.

Business Insider

  • Lime has
    big plans when it comes to safety: including AI, sidewalk
    detection, and tools to lock out drunk riders. 
  • The company has already given away helmets as part of its
    “respect the ride” campaign. 
  • Still, injuries are flooding emergency rooms and the company
    has come under fire for not doing more. 

As injuries from scooter riding
flood emergency rooms across the country
, operators are
coming under fire for not doing more to ensure user safety.

which has invested heavily in a “respect the ride” campaign and
given out thousands of free helmets, may have some higher tech
tricks up its sleeve as well, founder and chairman Brad Bao

said Tuesday at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference.

“In addition to the dynamic speed limit,” Bao said of a feature
already live on Lime’s fourth generation scooters in places like
school zones, “We’re testing out balancing, whether a scooter or
bike can be self-balancing. And there are other things like
sidewalk detection. It’s about increasing safety of pedestrians
as well as riders, we’re looking into we can detect if a user is
riding on a sidewalk and limit that behavior.”

Read more:

Lime issues its second scooter recall in less than a month

Eventually, it could even detect if you’re too inebriated to

“It probably won’t be a Breathometer,” he said, “but we will
probably use more AI and algorithms to detect whether a user’s
behavior is abnormal.”

Bao compared new innovations in scooter safety to the invention
of anti-lock brakes in cars. “I like to use ABS an example,” he
said. “That did not exist at the invention of the car, and now we
don’t even notice it.” 

As for the
two reports last week that Uber was considering a bid for Lime or
its competitor Bird
, Bao said he was “very flattered to be
part of the speculation” but wants to remain an independent
company for the time being.

Two Uber executives,
speaking at the same conference, also declined to comment
directly on the reports. 

“Now that Uber is really, really devoted to being a major
player in the micro-mobility space, we’re getting approached
constantly by players on the global scene, wanting to partner
with us, looking for acquisitions,” Rachel Holt, Uber’s head of
new modality, told Business Insider at the Ignition conference
Monday. “My guess is that those kind of rumors will continue and
we’re still really focused on building our own product right

The same remains for Lime, too. “We think the vision we have
is fairly unique,” Bao said . “This is not the first time [there
have been rumors], and this probably is not the last time.”

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