‘Health is wealth’, ‘safety first’, and ‘accidents are second chances’.
We’ve all heard these slogans somewhere before, telling us to be careful and to take better care of ourselves.
In a world where gigantic machines are commonplace, the human body is a remarkably fragile thing. And on the road — where vehicles are zooming around at high speed in many directions — it can be difficult for everyone to ensure their own safety, let alone the safety of everyone else.
However, Singapore startup Rider Dome is on a mission to improve road safety. Founded just last year, it has developed riding assistance technology for motorcycles.
According to Yoav Elgrichi, co-founder and CEO of Rider Dome, he founded the company after getting into a near-accident while riding in Singapore.
After trying in vain to find and purchase a collision avoidance system for his motorbike, Yoav decided to start up Rider Dome, in addition to running his other business venture ImpacTech.
Recognising that current collision avoidance systems for cars were irrelevant to motorcycles, Yoav set out to develop something completely new from the ground up.
Rider Dome eventually settled on using artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision in order to, as Yoav puts it, “give riders a ‘sixth sense’ while riding”.
However, one of the problems that the team faced was the difficulty in running their complex programming on a computer that could run on a small amount of electricity, all while being small enough to be mounted on a motorcycle to give useful and timely feedback to the rider.
They persevered, and developed their technology in-house and clinched a partnership with American firm NVIDIA.
When development was completed, Rider Dome produced a system that relied on front and rear cameras, along with an AI processing unit to analyse traffic around the rider.
This information would be fed to an alert unit near the motorcycle’s mirrors and dashboard, warning the rider if a front collision was imminent, and letting them know if their blind spots were clear.
Rider Dome has rolled out pilot programs with Singapore’s postal company Singpost and food delivery firm Deliveroo, both of which have large motorcycle fleets.
Yoav also shared that the company has received interest from other delivery companies — not just in Singapore, but from around the word, though he declined to comment in specifics.
However, Rider Dome’s technology isn’t limited to just motorcycle riders. Part of their technological development has led to the ability to aggregate large amounts of data, and allow fleet owners to monitor their fleet.
Rider Dome is also able to generate a safety profile for each rider and capture videos of events. This has huge implications for insurance companies, who often have to deal with ‘he said she said’ situations during accidents.
Insurance companies have also indicated that they would like to offer differentiated insurance programs for riders who use Rider Dome, and have reached out to Yoav for further discussions.
Government regulators are also getting on board the bandwagon. With all the data that Rider Dome collects, they are able to map out accident hotspots and analyse why accidents occur, which would help urban planners to design safer roads and put appropriate signage.
Aside from motorcyclists, Yoav also sees the potential for Rider Dome’s technology to be used for other road users.
“We are planning in the future to have a solution for electric bicycles and electric scooters… We see around the world those powered two-wheelers, some of them used to walk on sidewalks,” he said.
“The government encouraged them to go to the road for the safety of the pedestrians, and they are quite vulnerable to traffic. This is where our system can assist them. We see ourselves basically in the life-saving business.”
While tech startups are common nowadays, what makes Rider Dome truly special is the way that they are bringing tech to consumers to enhance road safety and save lives.
Featured Image Credit: Rider Dome
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