As motorcycle commuting and exploration has long been associated with risks, new class of trackers with strong connectivity hardware can prove to increase safety for riders across the world. Auto Tech Review got a chance to interact with Miha Kovač, CEO and Co-founder, Movalyse, to tell us more about Smart Turn System
Motorcycle safety has been gaining increasing support as road complications increase. In case of a traffic collision, it is very likely a motorcycle rider will suffer more critical damage vis a vis a car or truck driver. Vigo Smart Track system caught our eye as an ingenious solution to increase rider safety. Although available for USA, European and Canadian markets for now, the system has the potential for multiple markets.
Miha Kovač, CEO and co-founder of Movalyse, who is a long year motorcycle rider, once almost had an accident while changing lanes. This was the moment when he got the idea for developing a device which can make motorcycle riders safer on the road. Together with Rok Upelj, COO and co-founder, and Miha Ernstschneider, CMO and co-founder, Kovač started developing the Smart Turn System. A couple of years later, the Smart Brake Module, a system which automatically engages the brake light when it senses the ride is slowing down was developed.
The idea for Vigo Smart Track was developed, when our company’s motorcycle, on which we tested our products, was stolen from a locked garage. At that moment, we stepped together and asked other motorcycle riders, what their primary concern is. The survey showed that no. 1 fear motorcycle theft, and second comes having an accident. At that time, similar kinds of motorcycle trackers were already available on the market. What makes Vigo unique is, that besides theft-prevention and tracking, it also offers an accurate ride scoring system, with which it makes motorcycle riding safer, and a reliable SOS notification in case of an accident, with which lives can be saved.
Auto Tech Review_In terms of customer demographics, what segment of motorcycle riders have shown more interest in Vigo Smart Track device? Are these only from the markets you currently serve in or have requested been coming over from across the globe? What kind of publicity activities is Safer Turn utilising to increase awareness of its products?
Vigo Smart Track has been made available in the market. It is available in the USA, the EU, Canada, the UK and Norway. Our company’s audiences are motorcycle riders from the age of 35 to 65, but a younger audience of riders has also shown interest in Vigo Smart Track. The primary reason for that is that Vigo is a new generation of motorcycle trackers, but it’s not only a tracker. It features a reliable anti-theft notification, and with the automatic SOS notification, it can save lives. Besides these two essential functions, it also records and saves rides, which can be shared on Social Media or via other online platforms.
An interesting feature is also the ride scoring system. The score is established based on your speed, lean angle, acceleration, braking and the position of the rider. The ride and the collected data is then compared to data of a professional motorcycle safety instructor. A score from 1 to 10 is then established. To point out, the rider will get a score from 8 to 10, if he rides on the open road (because the ride is smoother), and if for example, the rider rides in the city traffic, the score will be lower, due to fast accelerations and fast braking. The best part of all of these features is that this data is only available to the user.
However, raising awareness of increasing motorcycle safety on the roads is at the forefront of the vision of our company. The products, which we developed are a product of our own experience, and by developing the Smart Turn System, Smart Brake Module, and now Vigo Smart Track, we wish to make riding safer and more comfortable for all riders worldwide. In addition to our innovative products, we also collaborate with Social Media Influencers and YouTubers around the globe. In addition to that, we also established a blog with educational and awareness-raising content.
Auto Tech Review_How does the system differentiate between an accident and a non-threatening fall? I mean it should not send a distress signal just for a clumsy drop or a minor bump. How have you made the tracker ‘smart’?
Vigo Smart Track has built-in sensors which sense three levels of an accident. Level one is accidents at high speed. The system recognizes it immediately, calls the emergency contact and provides the exact GPS location of the accident. Level two is an accident on low speed; the system will check what is happening. You will get an app notification, asking you if you’re okay. If you don’t respond to the notification, your emergency contact will be called. Level three is a low level of priority. Meaning, if your bike gets knocked over while standing, the system will wait what will happen to the bike afterwards. If you continue to ride or move the bike, there will be no notification. But if the bike isn’t moved after it’s been knocked over, you will get a notification (same as in Level two).
Auto Tech Review_Do you have any plans of expanding your market base? And also if I may ask, can I have a detailed breakdown of how does the Vigo Tracker function?
With our products, the Smart Turn System and Smart Brake Module, we are already present worldwide, and as mentioned above, Vigo Smart Track will be available in the USA, the EU, Canada, UK and Norway since July 2020. This is the first step towards making Vigo Smart Track available to the global market. At the moment, we are actively negotiating and establishing a network in other global markets as well.
To point out, Vigo Smart Track is compatible with the mentioned motorcycle brands. It consists of two elements: the device and the phone app. The device is easily installed to the motorcycle battery, connected with the phone app and activated by going on a first ride. It includes the following functionalities:
(1) Theft prevention: The Vigo Smart Track enables a 24/7 insight into the motorcycle’s geographical location. If the user and his phone are not near when the bike is moved, Vigo activates the theft mode. By acting fast, theft can be prevented, but in case theft does occur, the Vigo Smart Track will provide real-time data of the motorcycle’s location. In that way, chances of getting your bike back increase.
(2) SOS Notification: Motorcycle riders are exposed to greater danger in traffic and are therefore considered as one of the most vulnerable categories of drivers. They are less visible and noticeable, which can lead to traffic accidents and that’s when the Smart Track steps in. Because of its sensible sensors, the Smart Track senses the accident automatically. It has 3 emergency levels:
>> Level 1: When you crash on high speed, the system recognizes it immediately, calls your emergency contact, listed in the app, and provides exact GPS location.
>> Level 2: If you have an accident on low speed, the system will check what is happening. You will get an app notification, asking you if you’re okay. If you don’t respond do the notification, your emergency contact will be called.
>> Level 3: This is a low level of priority. Meaning, if your bike gets knocked over while standing, the system will wait what will happen to the bike afterwards. If you continue to ride, there will be no notification. But if the bike isn’t moved after it’s been knocked over, you will get a notification.
By acting fast and shortening the reaction time from sensing the accident to rescuing, lives can be saved.
(3) Ride Scoring System: Every motorcyclist is curious to find out if he or she is a good rider and how the ride is evaluated. It offers an accurate and advanced ride scoring system, and will score your rides from 1 to 10. The point of this feature is to improve your riding skills. The system analyses your lean angle, acceleration, speed, braking, position of the bike and the rider. The ride is compared to the results of a professional motorcycle safety instructor, and based on that a riding score is established. The function encourages the rider to ride safer and better, by which safety on the road increases
(4) Ride Tracking: Vigo records and saves every ride, to which only the end-user can access through the app and share them on Social Media or via e-mail.
Auto Tech Review_Bosch is working on a similar system, ‘Bosch Help Connect’, which does rival Vigo Smart. Other than this being mutual good news for all motorcyclists, how do you see this affecting your business?
According to our information, Bosch Help Connect is focusing on car drivers and providing help in case of an accident. Our company, on the other hand, is focusing on motorcycle riders and to improve their safety on the road, as well as offer and develop devices, which at the same time also protect the motorcycle from being stolen.
The Smart Turn System (STS) is a module, that automatically turns off the turn signals, when it senses that the lane has been changed or if a curve was finished. The Smart Brake Module (SBM) is a system that engages the brake light when it senses; the motorcycle is getting slower due to engine braking or downshifting. In addition to STS and SBM, we also developed Vigo, which is an advanced anti-theft-protection device which enables a 24/7 insight into the motorcycle’s location. In case theft does occur, it provides real-time data of the motorcycle’s location, which means you can get your bike back. Besides, anti-theft it offers the SOS notification and an advanced ride scoring system, with which safety on the road is improved.
In comparison to Bosch Help Connect, our products are entirely designed around the key needs of motorcycle riders, and in addition to that, they offer a variety of functionalities, with which the safety of motorcycle riders is improved.
Auto Tech Review_Apart from these, what other innovative products is Safer Turn looking at in the future? Will all these systems addressing Rider Safety in particular, or is the company thinking on expanding?
As mentioned above, Vigo Smart Track is our newest product, which has been developed for the last three years. However, Vigo isn’t just another motorcycle tracker for preventing theft - it’s a first of its kind and innovation in the segment of motorcycle safety. Vigo Smart Track is a part of an ecosystem, which in the future will be developed further, and its new functionalities will be available to existing, as well as new users. To point out, this technology allows the development of additional features, both from a technical and service point of view. We will develop new products, but to point out, the potential of Vigo Smart Track within this ecosystem is still extremely high.