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October 13, 2021 10:00 am

Birds scooters will now emit annoying beeps when you drive on the sidewalk

An rental electric scooter “BIRD” abandoned on a sidewalk...
Photo by Gerard Bottino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Riding an electric scooter on the sidewalk is dangerous, but scooter-sharing companies have struggled to prevent their customers from engaging in risky behavior. Bird thinks it has found a solution: annoying beeps.

Using technology provided by a company called u-blox, Bird is rolling out an end-to-end GPS system “designed to deliver centimeter-level accuracy specifically for the micromobility industry.” Riders who stray onto the sidewalk will be bombarded with audio alerts from the scooter, as well as notifications on their smartphones, warning them to get back on the street. Failure to follow directions results in a de-powered scooter: the vehicle will slow down and eventually come to a stop.

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