Can such accidents be prevented?

The Challenges of Riding a Bike on a Public Road

As most motorcycle riders know, riding a motorcycle on public roads has many challenges:

  • Incoming and crossing traffic that may not observe you.
  • Vehicles that abruptly stop ahead of you with no apparent reason
  • Cars that sway towards your riding lane
  • Cars that come in fast from behind without noticing the motorcycle

These are just a few of these daily potentially dangerous situations we all face. To make things even more complicated, more challenges arise in countries where it is legal to lane split. Lane split means sharing the same lane between a motorcycle and another vehicle, and passing between car lanes, especially when bikers ride between vehicles in busy traffic.

Ride Vision’s testing team uses several motorcycles from different makers. They ride on public roads in daily traffic which ranges from empty roads to heavy traffic. Back at the office, the team pulls and inspects the recorded footage from the system. A few days ago, as the team replayed that day’s footage, they saw an incident that happened in front of the test bike and was caught on the video.

The video is recorded by the test motorcycle, which is riding in medium morning traffic. In front of the test motorcycle, another motorcycle is seen as it is passing a car from the right-hand side (a black maxi scooter with a black rear pannier). From the recorded footage we can see that the black motorcycle rider is riding very aggressively, which will eventually lead to the incident.

The Chronicle of The Accident

Let’s analyze what happened to that motorcycle:

At the very beginning of the video, the rider attempts to pass a pickup truck from the right, only to be slightly surprised by the truck’s braking and turn right.

Mistake #1. This causes the rider to slow down for a couple of seconds, only to pick up speed as the lane seems to be empty:

The specific part of that road is made of 3 lanes, where the left most lane is for turning left, the right most lane is for driving straight ahead, and the middle lane is for both left turning and driving straight. “Our” rider is taking the right most lane, where in front of him we see a white Mercedes car in the middle lane.

As we will shortly see, this is mistake #2.

As the two vehicles approach the traffic light, the arrangement of the lanes become more apparent to the viewer, as do the clearly marked arrows on each lane. However, the biker on the black maxi scooter does not want to ride straight as the arrows indicate, and instead he decides that it would be a good idea to pass the Mercedes from the right, on the right lane, and get to the intersection ahead of the car in order to allow him to turn left.

Mistake #3. We can see how the motorcycle starts to lean to the left, as the rider forcibly attempts to get in front of the car:

Another fraction of a second later, the aggressive motorcycle rider places himself right in front of the car’s right front corner, and takes the turn:

In the Mercedes, the driver slams the brakes, but is too late and the black maxi scooter is hit from the rear, causing the motorcycle to fall and spin:

Luckily, the rider was unhurt and did not require medical assistance. However, it was a close call, and had both vehicles speeds been faster, it’s very likely that the rider would have sustained injury.

Could The Accident be Prevented?

Obviously, Yes.

Had “our” rider on the black maxi scooter adopted a more careful, more relaxed and less aggressive riding style observing the traffic laws and common sense – this incident would have been eliminated in the first place. It is clear that the rider didn’t respect the marked lane direction signs, nor did he respect the other vehicles’ right to use the same road as him, making at least 3 judgment mistakes that should have been avoided in the first place.

However, it’s not always the riders fault. Many accidents occur because of the other driver’s fault. It is estimated that half (~50%) of mixed accidents (involving 2-wheelers and 4-wheelers) – are due to the fault of the 4-wheeler driver. This means that even if the motorcycle rider is not to blame, he or she still needs to suffer the consequences of the accident – to their body, or to the motorcycle, or both.

Ride Vision’s System to Reduce These Dangers

By constantly monitoring the predicted path of the motorcycle, the system continuously evaluates any danger that may pose a direct threat to the rider: Front, side and rear collision alerts, plus blind spot alerts are exactly the needed pieces of the puzzle that will increase the safety of motorcycle riders.

Assuming a fast approaching car that comes from behind, the motorcycle rider using Ride Vision’s system, will be alerted on this imminent potential danger through the Blind Spot Warning alerts. The rider will have the chance to take avoidance measures and reduce or eliminate the risk.

Ride Vision increases our chance to get to our destination safely!

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!