The ultimate scooter parking solution is here, and it’s powered by Google.
Introducing Bird VPS, or Visual Parking System. This revolutionary new parking tool, powered by Google’s ARCore Geospatial API, enables Bird to geo-localize parked scooters with pinpoint accuracy by leveraging years of Google 3D scanning, augmented reality (AR) technology and Street View data from around the world.
The end result is a solution to one of micromobility’s biggest challenges, providing cleaner sidewalks, more organized parking and better functioning scooter and bike programs thanks to the world’s first scalable, hyper-accurate Visual Parking System.
Here’s how it works.
How Does Bird VPS Work?
The concept is simple. When parking a scooter, a rider is prompted to take a quick scan of the surrounding area using their smartphone camera and then scan the QR code located on the vehicle. That’s when the powerful underlying technology gets to work.
Using the ARCore Geospatial API, Bird VPS seamlessly compares a rider’s images against Google’s vast knowledge base of data and Street View images in real time. Stationary objects such as buildings and signs are used as reference points, while more dynamic objects like people and vehicles are disregarded.
This near-instantaneous process results in a precise, centimeter-level geolocation that enables Bird VPS to detect and prevent improper parking with extreme accuracy, helping ensure our vehicles are only left in approved areas. These can include designated parking corrals, bike racks and other areas depending on the city.
“The new ARCore Geospatial API from Google is an absolute game changer for micromobility that allows us to offer cities a first-of-its-kind Visual Parking System that’s unmatched in terms of accuracy and scalability,” said Justin Balthrop, Chief Technology Officer at Bird. “With Bird VPS, we’re able to meet cities’ number one need, proper parking, in a way that’s never been possible before, and we’re able to do it at scale in cities around the world thanks to Google’s robust global data and technology.”
Where and When Will Bird VPS Be Available?
Bird VPS is either already being piloted or will immediately be rolling out in cities including New York City, San Francisco, San Diego, Madrid, Bordeaux and Tel Aviv.
More global cities will be added in the weeks and months ahead to help ensure the power and accuracy of Bird VPS is available to every community looking to implement the best available micromobility parking solution.
More About ARCore Geospatial API From Google
The new ARCore Geospatial API, announced at this year’s Google I/O conference, enables the creation of location-based AR experiences at world scale. With it, developers can remotely create and deploy AR experiences with the help of precise location and orientation on a global-scale (Google currently offers Street View coverage in 87 countries).
Bird received early access to this exciting new technology from Google that allowed us to create our unique Visual Parking System.
To learn more about how new technologies are helping Bird elevate safety and compliance for micromobility programs in over 400 partner cities around the world, subscribe to the Bird Cities Blog.