Ride Vision: The Future of Advanced Rider Assistance Systems

Every day, around the world, motorcyclist injuries and deaths continue to rise. Since 1975 motorcycle fatalities have doubled in the United States, with distracted drivers estimated to have caused over 400,000 collisions-related injuries in 2018 in the U.S. aloneWhen we extrapolate this data to a global scale, this means that 25%-33% of all accident victims are motorcyclists

Distracted drivers can be fatal for riders, our small size and lack of protective vehicle structure means that while we hope for the best, we need to prepare for the worst. 

Enjoying the ride (Source: Unsplash)

Advanced Rider Assistance Systems

Recently, major manufacturers like Bosch and BMW have teamed up to attempt to produce a motorcycle product that can prevent crashes before they happen. These crash prevention systems are what we call Advanced Rider Assistance Systems for Powered Two-Wheelers (ARAS-PTW), and BMW/Bosch’s version is part of the vehicle’s Active Cruise Control (ACC). These systems provide accident prevention functions, using radar technology, which works by utilizing sensors to detect and alert the rider of automobile collision threats in real-time. 

However, while the ARAS concept to help keep riders safe is a good one, Bosch’s radar-based systems (front collision warning, blind spot detection, and Adaptive Cruise Control ) create several significant, and even dangerous problems for motorcyclists: 

  • Motorcycle Control: Bosch’s Active Cruise Control (ACC) only detects and responds to moving vehicles in front of the motorcycle,and then takes over the vehicle’s braking and accelerating systems when the program deems it necessary. When activated, the function even kicks in during cornering by “managing” the rider’s speed to maintain a “comfortable lean angle” (by adding revs to the engine or automatically applying brakes). This not only could spoil a fun ride, but poses a significant safety threat if the system ever malfunctions or catches the rider off guard. For this reason, the ACC system can really only safely be used by riders in limited cases — particularly on large hiways and while riding in a straight line.
  • Lean Angle Problems: Bosch’s radar-guided ACC, front collision warning, and blind spot detection systems are limited to detecting threats within the scope of their radars. This means any rider using the system does not have 360° protection or visibility. Furthermore according to BMW, the radar’s detection ability greatly decreases while cornering. It’s estimated that the Advanced Rider Assistance System’s ACC and front-collision warning will not work at lean angles as small as 14° (which most motorcyclists achieve while navigating a roundabout).
  • Complex and Distracting: According to the manufacturer, Bosch’s forward-mounted display panel keeps the rider “permanently informed” of their motorcycle’s status and surrounding perceived threats with constant visual, acoustic or haptic warnings and readings. As riders, we know how dangerous even a moment of distraction can be while on the road… spending several seconds at highway speeds attempting to read, interpret, and then respond to complex display alerts could be life-threatening.
  • Installation and Bulk: Bosch’s ACC system appears to be designed to fit only large, modern motorcycles, leaving a significant portion of the world market exposed. The ACC system cannot be retrofitted for older or smaller motorcycle models, as the required components are either too advanced (ABS, canbus, torque control), too large (the computer system alone is larger than most ECUs) or too bulky — with the display panel alone unable to fit on most small motorcycles or scooters. 
  • Cost: All over the world motorcycles are used as a low budget hobby or way to commute. When premium brands like BMW launch complex radar-based Advanced Rider Assistance Systems, they have the capacity to cost thousands of dollars. This puts this potentially lifesaving technology out of reach for millions of riders all over the world.
  • Traffic Limitations: Shockingly, BMW’s system — which spends significant amounts of effort on informing riders of forward-facing threats — cannot respond to stationary vehicles. This means if you’re approaching the back of a queue of cars, or traffic stopped on the road, the ACC system will not function even while engaged.
  • Significance: The vast majority of fatal or injurious motorcycling accidents are caused by automobile drivers colliding with motorcyclists. While BMW’s technology is promising, much of their system’s operations are designed to prevent the rider from colliding with forward facing cars — and even in that effort, the system doesn’t always function properly (see Traffic Limitations above). This radar system also fails to determine collision threats when at lean angles, which as riders, we know this happens quite frequently!

Considering all of the above, it’s clear that radar technology isn’t a viable future for motorcycle Advanced Rider Assistance Systems. 

What riders actually need is a compact, brand agnostic, affordable, non-distracting, full 360° camera coverage alert system to make them aware of automobile collision threats in real-time… and at Ride Vision, we’ve developed exactly that. 

Introducing: Ride Vision 

Ride Vision is an ARAS that is a proven, and complete, motorcycle collision avoidance system. 

Ride Vision Advanced Rider Assistance System 360° protection

With Ride Vision technology, riders are surrounded by a 360° safety system at all times, and in all riding conditions and situations. Two small HD cameras mounted on the rear and front of the vehicle transmit footage to the motorcycle’s ECU, which uses a patented algorithm to detect and notify riders of collision threats in real-time.  

These threats are translated into a series of nondisruptive (yet very visible) alerts, which are designed to make the rider aware of the crucial threats around them, while still allowing them to keep their focus on the road ahead.  

Motorcycle Road Threats

Which threats are crucial? Great question. Studies have shown that keeping a safe distance between automotive and motorcyclists is essential to preventing and reducing the severity of crashes. That’s why Ride Vision’s alerts are designed to keep riders aware of a variety of collision threats that could be around them. The 360° HD camera system is designed to detect forward collision, blind spots, merging, and even future rear collision threats. The system automatically starts with your motorcycle, and is hardwired to the battery so there’s no need to worry about charging Ride Vision or remembering to turn it on. 

Alerting on real-time critical threats

Ride Vision’s alerts appear via LED lights (Warning Indicators), which are located on each motorcycle mirror. This means a rider will never have to take their eyes off the road to be made aware of collision threats. Notification settings are completely customizable with the Ride vision app, which is where the rider can also activate the audio option for Ride Vision notifications as well. 

Speed, location and other ride data are also available to access within the Ride Vision app, which riders can easily share and compare with friends. All Ride Vision systems feature up to 2 hours of internal storage loop recording, which can be used to preserve memories, explore insurance discounts, or even as evidence in legal cases.

Ride Visions price point and installation process also make it an available product for riders of all budgets, and almost all motorcycle makes and models. This lifesaving, durable (IP69K rated), and compact system will fit any two-wheeled vehicle, and will be available to purchase for roughly the cost of a GoPro.

Currently, Ride Vision is set to release worldwide in the fall of 2020. Pre-order yours today, and sign up below to be notified about future product releases, version updates, and motorcycling safety. 

Start Your Engines: Ride Vision Coming to the Motorcycle Market in 2020

ride vision accident prevention motorcycle

Riders are very aware of the dangers of riding on the road. According to a recent study by the Insurance Information Institute, motorcycle riders are 29 times more likely to be involved in a fatal roadway accident than automotive passengers are. These devastating incidents can happen within milliseconds, and tragically, are often not even the rider’s fault. 

While shocking, these facts probably aren’t a surprise to most riders. Motorcyclists all over the world know what it’s like to be “invisible” on the road, yet our love for riding brings us back to it day after day, despite the risks.  

Fortunately, Ride Vision is here to help riders overcome that invisibility, and prevent distracted-driving accidents and roadway collisions before they happen. 

At Ride Vision, we’re proud to introduce the next major breakthrough in safe riding. Our Advanced Rider Assistance System (ARAS) is a compact, easy to use system that helps alert riders of potential threats around them in real-time.

Ride Vision – How it Works 

Proximity Alerts. 360° HD camera coverage provides superior motorcycle safety

Ride Vision uses two small wide-angle HD cameras mounted on the front and rear of the vehicle to detect roadway threats surrounding the rider. This footage is then transmitted to the motorcycle’s Electronic Computing Unit (ECU), where an advanced algorithm interprets crucial threats to the rider, and alerts them in real-time via LED indicators mounted within each mirror. Video example displays a mirror integration

These alerts are clear and visible (even on a sunny day), but subtle enough not to be distracting. The alert indicators are uniquely designed to keep the rider aware of serious collision hazards, while still being able to focus on the road. 

Industry-Leading 

Ride Vision is proud to be an industry-leading technological development in the prevention of motorcycle crashes. In contrast to most current motorcycle safety products, Ride Vision stops collisions before they happen.  

Unlike traditional radar or LiDar technology, Ride Vision’s 360° HD camera coverage means that a motorcycle can be notified of a collision threat anywhere around them, and at any lean angle. This camera coverage is also saved on a continuous 2-hour loop recording (on internal storage alone), which the rider can access in the Ride Vision app. This footage begins automatically, which means riders don’t have to worry about remembering to turn their system on or charge them, and can use it to preserve memories, explore insurance discounts, or even as evidence in legal cases.

Ride Vision’s forward collision alert

The Ride Vision app also allows riders to record and share ride stats, access software updates, and modify their alert and personal settings (for example, if a rider prefers, they can set their Bluetooth helmets to receive both audio and visual collision alerts). 

Installation and Pricing 

Ride Vision easily fits onto any motorcycle make or model. The durable and compact design of the system means it can be installed with minimal effort, and never gets in the way. Ride Visions power source connects directly to all motorcycle and scooter batteries. However, the system uses minimal charge (less than a mobile phone!) so you never have to worry about being stranded with a drained battery. 

The price of a Ride Vision unit is one of the features that truly sets it apart in the market. For the cost of roughly a Go-Pro, and with easy payment plans available, all riders can enjoy this life saving technology. 

Sign Up to Stay Tuned! 

Ride Vision is set to release worldwide in the fall of 2020. Sign up now for up-to-date notifications about product availability, version updates, and motorcycling safety!

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.