How to solve micromobility challenges with location SDKs and geofencing APIs

Micromobilty services are set to be the future of urban travel. Location data SDKs and APIs can bring micromobilty apps to the next level without building solutions from scratch.

How to solve micromobility challenges with location SDKs and geofencing APIs

Just as micromobility made its first major step forward, lockdowns forced people inside and off the streets. As the world opens up, e-scooters, e-bikes and other small vehicles are on the up once again. In fact, as micromobility provides a socially distanced, cost-effective and sustainable transport alternative, demand will be higher than ever.

For companies to create the best transport experience, stand out from the growing competition and protect vehicles, they must utilize a hybrid approach using device location data in combination with the vehicle’s inbuilt GPS system.  

One way to do this is to integrate pre-build location SDKs and APIs. Below we’ll take you through the core features and benefits of using this technology in micromobility apps including:

  • Improving location data accuracy
  • Increasing app battery efficiency
  • An added layer of protection for vehicles
  • Geofencing for parking and speeding enforcement
  • Locating nearby vehicles

Improve data accuracy with location SDKs

From the moment you open an app to find a vehicle or to locate a parking space when your trip is coming to an end, the use of location data and micromobilty apps are inseparable. To improve the quality and functionality of location data gained from a user’s device, a third-party location SDK (software development kit) can be used.

Most mobile location data is taken from a variety of sources including GPS, Wi-Fi, cell towers and sensors. Location SDKs, such as Roam.ai’s Android and iOS SDKs, improve the accuracy of this data by removing noise and using sensor fusion models to improve accuracy even further. Read more about how Roam.ai’s SDK improves location data accuracy in our detailed blog post.

With precise location data, users can accurately track their actual route on their map in real-time. This means users can find quick routes to their destination, easily find available parking spaces and receive notifications as soon as the vehicle is outside a permitted riding or parking zone. The closer you can pinpoint an e-scooters location, the easier it is to manage micromobilty vehicles in urban areas.

Protecting micromobilty vehicles

In the event that a vehicle is stolen, lost or the scooter’s inbuilt GPS fails, using a location SDK in your application can be extremely useful. By precisely pinpointing the last known location of the user's route, your team can carry out more effective search and rescue missions.

Traditional in-build GPS systems are important, but as they rely on GPS, they can be unreliable in densely populated urban environments or areas will low signal. Using a hybrid approach of GPS hardware systems and location on the user’s device can add extra protection and increased more precise location on the map.

Increasing battery efficiency with location SDKs

We all know the feeling. You pull out your phone and see the notification “Low Battery Remaining”. Without proper development, real-time location services features can be the culprit for a significant amount of battery drain. As most micromobility apps rely on location (and a device with battery!) to find a vehicle, park and pay, it’s important that your location technology drains as little battery as possible.

Roam.ai’s location SDK is designed and optimized with adaptive tracking to decrease battery drain, with varying frequency of updates and different location tracking modes.

Enforcing no parking zones and speeding with geofencing

One of the biggest complaints that local governments and citizens have with the influx of new smaller vehicles in the streets is irresponsible parking and dangerous riding in pedestrian-only and busy zones. When riders speed past schools, onto sidewalks and park in front of accessible areas, it can give micromobility vehicles a bad rep.  

To solve this, micromobilty apps can utilize geofencing. Geofences represent a virtual fence around a real-world geographic area. This innovative tech can be placed in areas where vehicles are not allowed to access, park or zones with lower speed limits due to safety concerns. Users can clearly see geofenced zones on their application map, showing where it is possible to ride and park their vehicle.

But since riders need to keep their eyes forward and not down on their devices, geofence events can be used to automatically trigger safety actions when a vehicle crosses a fence perimeter. Popular micromobilty e-scooter companies Lime and Bird are already beginning to pilot such cutting-edge tech to increase safety in cities across the US.

For example:

  • Slowing or stopping the vehicle: In areas such as schools, pedestrian zones or private property, the vehicle can be programmed to stop or slow when they have crossed the geofence perimeter.
  • Warning notifications: When a rider crosses into a no parking area, they will receive a notification that they will not be allowed to park their vehicle until they have left the zone.
  • No parking zones: Vehicles can be disabled from parking in dangerous or areas that need to stay open for accessibility requirements and users can be presented with in-app notifications to accept responsibility for.

Check out Roam.ai’s geofence full product offering in our complete geofencing documentation.

Find nearby vehicles and parking spots using Nearby APIs

When a user opens their e-scooter app the first thing they’ll need is information on the closest available vehicles from their location. There may be dedicated parking areas, or vehicles might be placed in any area across a city. Making this process as easy and accurate as possible is key for your users to get the most out of your service.

To help make this process easier for developers, Roam.ai has created Nearby APIs. Based on the real-time location of your users, a geofence can automatically be created around a parked vehicle. Geofences can also be created around fixed parking locations with information about how many parking spots.

To find out more, check out about documentation.

How to integrate Roam.ai’s SDKs and APIs in your mobility app

Now you know how location SDKs can help, if you would like to integrate Roam.ai’s location SDK, Geofencing or Nearby APIs in your application, get in touch with us today or get started for free.

If you have any more questions about how our technology can help you, ask a question using our developer forum and a member of our team will get back to you ASAP.