Micromobility explores the disruption to urban transport that comes from new electric, lightweight utility vehicles. Using the history of computing as a framework, we unpack how e-bikes, scooters and more will change how people get around cities.



episode 109: 109: How camera-based positioning changes micromobility with Jameson Detweiler from Fantasmo

This week, Oliver interviews Jameson Dietweiler, CEO of Fantasmo. 

Fantasmo has been around since 2014 to build maps for machines, and has been working specifically on micromobility since the earliest days in 2017. With the recent announcement that they’ve partnered with Tier to roll out an innovative phone based parking verification technology Oliver was excited to have a chance to bring them on the show. They use camera based positioning to better locate vehicles like scooters and ebikes in cities where often GPS is an insufficeint technology to provide highly accurate location data. 

They talk about the pivots that the company has made and why their ultimate goal is to own the basemaps that are used for positioning in cities all over the world, using micrombility as the first step. 

At Micromobility Industries, we’ve been long excited about companies that are building software layers to the micromobility experience. It also provides a good answer to regulators and city officials who ask how hard it is to enforce parking solutions for shared operators across cities, which as we know was an early issues with shared schemes. 

It can be a little hard to visual, so we would recommend that you check out the short video here [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPsXU0Vbctg].

Specifically, they dig into:

- The origin story of Fantasmo and how Jameson came to be working on ‘maps for machines’

- The details of the pivots that they’ve made as a company - on-device to parking on phone via cloud etc.

- They talk through the Tier pilot and what they’re seeing in the early data.

- How they think about the move of computation into mobility, and where it’ll sit (discussing Horace’s thesis that these vehicles will become computing platforms)

- They discuss how defensible the moat for a company like Fantasmo is vs. Google or Apple opening up an API for this based on their mapping tech

- How the the funding environment is for a software company in the boom-bust Micromobility industry.


 2021-04-06  39m