Luna is first Irish company to receive funding from new EU initiativeLeigh Mc Gowranon April 13, 2022 at 14:58 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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AI company Luna Systems is one of 20 European start-ups to receive funding from a new European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) initiative, to help the delivery of the European Green Deal.

The New European Bauhaus initiative aims to translate the European Green Deal into tangible actions, through a combination of several EU financing methods such as Horizon Europe and the European Regional Development Fund.

The company said it was selected by EIT as a key enabling technology for sustainable mobility and will receive a grant of €50,000, along with support services to scale its technology.

Dublin-based Luna, which has been backed by former Irish rugby player Brian O’Driscoll, develops AI tech for the growing e-scooter market. It uses precise positioning and computer vision to let operators know where e-scooters are and how they are being parked and ridden.

For example, Luna said its technology allows an e-scooter to understand if it is in a heavily pedestrianised area and to react accordingly, based on set parameters.

“We are delighted to have been selected and keen to start working with the EIT Urban Mobility team to further develop and deploy our technology,” Luna CEO Andrew Fleury said.

“The grant will enable us to partner with cities across Europe to overcome barriers to micromobility and enhance the EU’s sustainable transport agenda, by demonstrating how computer vision and AI can solve issues around sidewalk riding and bad parking, which are currently holding the industry back,” Fleury added.

Luna’s technology is already being tested by some of the world’s leading e-scooter operators. The AI company partnered with Zipp Mobility last year to roll out a fleet of ‘smart scooters’.

Swedish e-scooter operator Voi Technology also conducted a large-scale computer vision trial in Northampton using Luna technology last year.

The company was also involved in Ireland’s first major e-scooter trial, in a collaboration with Tier, Science Foundation Ireland’s research centre for data analytics Insight and SmartDCU, which is a division of Dublin City Council’s Smart Dublin initiative.

Despite the plethora of micromobility start-ups that plan to launch services in Ireland, a new policy plan published on 7 April indicates that e-scooter operators will have to wait until 2023 to get the green light.

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