by Kyle Wiggers from https://venturebeat.com
Ride Vision, a startup developing “collision aversion” technology for motorcycles, today emerged from stealth with a $7 million round led by investment platform OurCrowd. Ride Vision also unveiled an AI-driven safety alert system called Ride Vision 1 that will go on sale in several European countries in early 2021. A spokesperson said the fresh capital will be used for marketing, distribution, and R&D as the company looks to expand its 20-person team.
There are more than 700 million motorcycles on the road globally, according to estimates. And motorcycles currently account for 28% of all fatal road accidents, resulting in the death of roughly 378,000 people a year. That number could tick upward soon, as motorcycle sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic.
The company’s Ride Vision 1 package will feature cameras and LEDs designed to alert riders to dangerous situations. Two small wide-angle cameras mounted on the rear and front of motorcycles or scooters transmit footage to an onboard processing unit running an algorithm that detects and notifies riders of collision threats in real time via mirror-mounted LEDs. A mobile app delivers customizable alerts (including at night); records up to two-hour continuous-loop videos; and keeps note of stats like speed, lean angle, distance, location, and time.
Ride Vision says it can detect forward collision, blind spot, and distance keeping threats from cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and scooters. New alerts for rear collision, forward-left, and forward-right collision threats are scheduled to arrive post-launch.
“Ride Vision has built a unique dataset particular to two-wheelers that’s used to train models taking into account different bikes, level of biking experience, locality, different environmental conditions, and synthetic use cases,” a spokesperson told VentureBeat via email. “Ride Vision has the ability to improve upon the skill set of riders should the riders elect to share their ride data [and] an option of impacting insurance due to ongoing risk estimations. This data can be used to lower riders’ insurance rates and open up new business models, such as ‘usage-based insurance’ to train various models.”
Ride Vision 1 hardwires directly into a vehicle’s battery and claims to draw less charge than a standard cellphone. The system’s two water-resistant video cameras begin recording the moment the motorcycle is turned on and transmit footage to the app over Wi-Fi. Ride summary cumulative reports are broken down by weeks, months, and years and include total distance, total alerts, and max speed data. They can be exported for personal use or things like insurance reduction.
Ride Vision walls new software, alerts, and other updates behind a subscription fee, but it offers a free plan with periodic security updates, bug fixes, and other small enhancements. Features on the premium roadmap include emergency contacts, enhanced video with automatic ride state overlays, and “more extensive” metrics.
Ride Vision says it’s working with motorcycle manufacturers as well as with resellers and insurers. Currently, the company has resellers across the EU but is looking to expand further into the EU and North America.
This latest funding round brings the Herzliya, Israel-based company’s total raised to $10 million. YL Ventures, Mobilion, and Metagal also participated in the round.