How Bird’s Advanced Vehicle Location System Is Changing Micromobility

We’re going to let you in on a little secret: not all vehicle location technologies are created equal. 

In micromobiltiy, the role of this technology cannot be overstated. It’s what tells us where shared scooters and bikes are parked in a city, what zones are permissible for riding and even whether a vehicle is operating in a bike lane or being parked appropriately. The more accurate the vehicle location technology, the better and more reliable the service.

This important, fundamental principle prompted Bird to develop our advanced new Vehicle Location System, or VLS. 

Since its development, VLS has enabled some of the most important micro-EV safety and operational innovations, from Smart Sidewalk Protection to Community Safety Zones.

While the inner workings are pretty complex, our proprietary VLS can be understood as the end result of several interconnected technologies:

  • Upgraded, dual band GPS: Using 3-4x more satellites and a dual band system, we receive significantly more (and more precise) GPS information.
  • On-brain mapping: Bird develops unique, high-precision sidewalk maps down to the centimeter and then loads them directly onto our vehicles. 
  • Sensor fusion: Our unique sensor-fusion module co-developed with u-blox pulls together satellite and vehicle sensor data into a single precise and accurate location.

The end result is an advanced, comprehensive Vehicle Location System that is setting a new bar for micromobility safety and compliance by equipping our riders, our team and our partner cities with the most accurate and up-to-date geolocation information available. 

Alongside enabling innovative features such as those mentioned above, VLS plays a critical role in Bird’s day to day operations, from precisely identifying vehicle locations for riders, fleet managers and operations teams to safely and responsibly providing the most accurate MDS location data reporting our city partners require.

Our team will be rolling out even more powerful new features enabled by our unique VLS technology in the coming months. To be the first to learn about them and other developments across the micromobility industry, subscribe to the Bird Cities Blog.

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