A nightmare of many drivers is the vision of helmeted motor-bikers zooming past, zigzagging among cars to get ahead of the traffic.
There were 8.7 million motorcycles registered in the US in 2017, according to the US Department of Transportation, and 5,172 fatalities.
As the coronavirus pandemic rages globally, reducing the use of public transportation for fear of infection, many more people are considering motorcycles and other motorized two-wheeled vehicles as alternatives. Two-wheeled vehicle sales have surged in some European countries, and more riders bring with them potentially more accidents.
Herzliya, Israel-based startup Ride Vision hopes to put an end to these accidents by making motorcyclists more aware of their surroundings. It has developed crash-aversion technology which uses artificial intelligence to provide motorcyclists with a safety-alert system.
The startup said on Monday that it has raised $7 million from investors including Jerusalem-based OurCrowd, YL Ventures, Mobilion VC, a fund that focuses on smart mobility technologies, and Metagal, a manufacturer of mirrors for motorcycles. The funds raised will bring the total amount of money raised by the startup to $10 million, Ride Vision said in a statement.
The firm has also struck a partnership with German automotive giant Continental AG, the statement said, though the firm declined to provide further details.
The hardware developed by the firm includes two wide-angle cameras mounted on both the front and rear of the motorbikes, alert indicators that are placed on the mirrors, and a computing unit on the bike that holds Ride Vision’s patented algorithms.
Using the indicators located on their mirrors, the system provides drivers with alerts regarding road conditions, and makes sure riders keep a safe distance from the vehicles in front of them, also alerting them of possible blind spots or dangerous-to-overtake locations.
The startup was founded in 2018 by Uri Lavi, its CEO, and Lior Cohen, both motorbike lovers who previously worked together in a company called PicScout, a maker of visual content tracking and analysis technology that was bought by Getty Images in 2011 for $20 million.
The technology also allows users to access ride summaries, which contain cumulative reports, including total distance, total alerts, and max speed data. This data can be exported for personal use, such as fuel-consumption calculations or even insurance-rate reduction inquiries. The data is stored on the riders’ mobile device and is not shared with anyone else, the company said.
The product will also be constantly updated to include more safety features as these become available, the statement said. These could include emergency calls in case of an accident, forward, side and rear collision alerts, and videos of rides to share with friends.
The company said its products will be available in several European countries starting early 2021 including Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, France, Greece, Israel, and the UK.