Whether you’re a casual motorcycle rider or a hardcore biker, your smartphone can make your riding experience even better. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 93,000 people were injured in a motorcycle-related accident in 2012, a 15% increase from 2011. Texting while driving demonstrates a lack of responsibility, but using a smartphone to enhance the safety of your motorcycle? Smart move.
Motorcycle helmets are quickly becoming more high-tech. Recently, Reevu, Skully and Nuviz revealed modern helmets that have GPS, cell phone, rear-view camera and music player capabilities. The Skully Operating System integrated in the Skully AR-1 connects to an iPhone or Android smartphone via Bluetooth, allowing drivers to send texts and take calls through voice commands—no need to take your eyes off the road. Skully announced that the AR-1 will be released sometime in 2014. However, if you just can’t wait for the release of the AR-1, BikeBandit carries Bluetooth communications systems and other helmets with advanced technology, including advanced ventilation systems and carbon fiber construction.
Current technology enables smartphones to help keep us safe from the moment we start our engines to the moment we’re back home. It’s now possible to turn a smartphone into an automatic garage door opener. The company Flash2Pass created the Tap2Pass receiver. This receiver communicates with a smartphone through the Tap2Pass app. The system can be installed on up to 7 phones, essentially giving every member of your family with a smartphone his or her own garage door remote. The four digit PIN offers an extra layer of security in case the smartphone is lost or stolen. Tap2Pass works with both iPhone and Android smartphones.
Vehicle-to-Pedestrian and Vehicle-to-Motorcycle Safety Technologies
Although still in the testing phase, vehicle-to-pedestrian and vehicle-to-motorcycle technologies will soon become a possibility, thanks to Honda. With dedicated short-range communications technology, a smartphone can detect nearby pedestrians and motorcycles and alert both parties of a possible collision using auditory and visual warnings. In other words, the driver’s smartphone communicates with the pedestrian’s smartphone to predict the chance of an accident. An app specifically designed for V2P technology will be able to determine a pedestrian’s position, direction and speed. And get this: the app will even tell drivers if a pedestrian is texting, listening to music or on a phone call.
This handy little device turns your smartphone into a satellite communicator, something that comes in handy when you’ve lost all cell phone connection and are stranded in the middle of nowhere. Spot Connect assists you in reaching friends, family, service providers, and, of course, emergency personnel. Notable functions include SOS mode, which discloses your GPS location to the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center, and a Help Mode that sends custom or predefined messages to your chosen contact group. Spot Connect isn’t just for emergency situations, however. It also enables you to share your motorcycle adventures with family and friends on Google Maps. They’ll be able to see your ride progress and know exactly where you’re located.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison