Ride Vision tests in India

When considering the various aspects of a motorcycle ride, one usually thinks about riding in different and various levels of traffic ranging from empty roads, through low level traffic that is all going the same way as the rider, and up to stand-still traffic that is many times associated with rush hours.

Yet nothing can prepare a rider with the type of traffic that you can encounter on the streets and roads, even highways of India. At the best of times, the roads can seem totally chaotic to a foreigner.

At first, one might think that traffic in India is crazy and there are no road rules whatsoever. However, as one gets more and more used to it, one should understand that there is in fact a method to the madness. Observe the way Indians drive, and try to go with the flow.

Some rules in India are different. For example, in most western countries flashing your headlights means you are letting a driver pass. But in India it means “get out of the way”. In addition, people often buzz to indicate their “presence” on a road rather than pointing to a dangerous situation.

But one of the most important differences is the way Indian drivers and riders use the lanes on the road, and even their choice of which side of the road to drive on. Often, vehicles will weave through the lanes and fill up every inch of any available space just to get ahead.

Since the roads in India are full of surprises and potential dangers, a motorcycle rider really needs to be constantly alert, always aware and expect the unexpected at all times: All sorts of vehicles share the road, and each and every one of them thinks they really own the road – from hand carts to bicycles, 3 wheeled rickshaws, motorbikes carrying whole families, cars, trucks, buses and anything that you can put wheels on, not to mention farm animals.

India – Zig-zagging between multiple types of vehicles

Ride Vision sees a great value in testing its CAT™ – Collision Aversion Technology in multiple countries and India is not an exception. Multiple countries tests is an important strategy, especially when supported by local manufacturers and allows us to continuously excel our system. In the recent months Ride Vision has conducted multiple very successful tests of CAT™ in India and we look forward to continuing our work with the local manufacturers, insurers and distributors.

The Vision (and why Ride Vision?)

FWD collision alert

Riding a bike

“Everything you do on a motorcycle is based on what you see.”
“Steer with your eyes; your motorcycle will always go the way you are looking!”

We motorcycle riders hear these phrases constantly. Using your vision correctly while riding a motorcycle is critical for our survival on the road. There is no doubt: The rider’s eyes are the most important element in controlling the direction in which the motorcycle goes.

From a motorcycle rider’s point of view, “vision” is a process that dynamically combines scanning with your eyes, aiming your sight, tracking objects and focusing on them. On top of that, this process also involves analyzing what you’re seeing and changing the way you’re riding the motorcycle accordingly. This vision can be divided into 2 distinct types: fixed vision and peripheral vision.

Fixed and peripheral vision

A rider is using fixed vision when his or her eyes move continuously among various objects, focusing on each and every one, and analyzing their potential danger. A rider will also use this vision to assess how these objects may interact with the motorcycle’s movements and path. With this type of vision, the eyes must move quickly among the various objects while simultaneously scanning for surface hazards.

While fixed vision involves focusing on specific objects to obtain the most information about them, peripheral vision lets you see objects, movement, and general surroundings that are not within your direct line of sight. With this type of vision, specifically focusing on every single aspect of your environment is unnecessary.

Peripheral vision’s role is to spot the potential dangers that lie around us, such as cars, trucks, or other riders, and is essential for survival on the road. The speed of a rider’s reactions increases when using it correctly, allowing him or her to avoid obstacles, to speed up by opening the throttle, or to slow down by using the breaks.

How to use fixed and peripheral visions to ride a bike

A good rider keeps his head up, looks well ahead, matches their vision distance to their travel speed, and keeps their vision wide. As critical as these techniques are, though, there may still be times when the rider simply stops doing the right thing. There are many factors that can cause this, including high travel speeds, a lack of awareness, mental fatigue and others.

Some of these mistakes are due to “target fixation,” in which the rider stops processing the entire image and focuses only on one object that is perceived as potentially dangerous, such as a car in their immediate path. Even though focusing on a hazard is generally a good thing, with target fixation the rider loses their ability to see anything other than that one specific object and thus inadvertently points the bike in that exact direction, which can cause an accident.

Another mistake called “tunnel vision,” in which the rider almost entirely loses their peripheral vision, may also occur. The rider becomes less and less aware of the motorcycle’s general surroundings due to this phenomenon, which in turn may cause additional stress and mental fatigue in addition to impacting his or her ability to ride safely and avoid dangers on the road.

Lastly, although most riders usually don’t look far enough ahead, some look too far ahead. This tendency causes them to lose connection with their immediate surroundings, thereby exposing them to hazards that lie close to them and their bike.

Ride Vision System

Here, into the gap between a rider’s fallible vision and the level at which it must be for maximum safety, enters a system developed by Ride Vision.

Ride Vision’s system utilizes standard wide angle cameras with a fusion of computer vision & deep learning algorithms on the edge to predict and alert on upcoming collisions, without disturbing riders’ focus. Ride Vision’s system effectively helps riders to combine both the fixed and the peripheral visions, by tracking almost 360° around a motorcycle.

Consider the following situation, where and accident almost happened, captured by Ride Vision’s prototype. A rider observes the blue car with its fixed vision. At some time, the blue car activates the braking lights gently, but continues to drive without actually braking – a normal day-to-day scenario which we all see. At that point, the rider’s fixed vision swapped to look at a different vehicle, but then the blue car abruptly stopped at a crosswalk for a pedestrian.

Ride Vision’s system allows the rider to gain the focus back to the immediate danger by acting as an assistant peripheral vision. It alerted the rider when the blue car abruptly stopped, and allowed the rider to swap back to a fixed vision.

By doing this, the system enabled the rider to react in time and avoid the collision.

FWD collision alert

Did the rider make it? Of course! Ride Vision’s Pre-Emptive Vision keeps you safe!

Under the Hood – CAT™ (Collision Aversion Technology) for Motorcycles

Motorcycle ride in traffic

A few weeks ago Alex Tilkin published an article summarizing some of the challenges that Ride Vision is dealing with in order to bring CAT™ – Collision Aversion Technology to motorbikes.

Indeed, the problem that Ride Vision solves is unique and intriguing. Preventing and reducing motorbike accidents demands peculiar approach, specific to the domain of 2-wheelers.

Here, I’d like to show one more challenge that the 2-wheelers impose on the proposed solution. The Threat Analysis challenge. Threat Analysis model at Ride Vision is responsible for understanding the actual threats/hazards imposed on the motorcycles and raise the alerts accordingly.

To demonstrate the challenge, please see below a short footage, recorded by one of the Ride Vision’s systems, representing the dynamic nature of a 2-wheeler maneuvers.

This is quite normal and standard behavior of a motorbike in traffic, but it emphasizes the difference between the cars and the 2-wheelers. The above footage doesn’t contain dangerous situations and hence Ride Vision’s Threat Analysis model, which was built ground up to deal with the unique behaviours of motorcycles, takes into the account much more than the classical methods of analysis, detection and tracking of a motorbike’s surrounding.

Ride Vision’s Threat Analysis learns and deducts patterns of motorcycle behaviors on the road and  constantly blends and fuses all the data points to infer instantly whether any threat can emerge.

In this case the Threat Analysis model won’t raise an alert. This exactly why the power of the Predictive Vision allows Ride Vision to bring its solution to any motorbike. Even a bit extreme examples (like below) can be inferred; Patterns can be learnt and predicted by Ride Vision’s Predictive Vision.