Bosch develops smartphone app to send out distress call for motorcycle riders
Good for Bosch, but a Canadian company has had one called Crashlight built into their EatSleepRIDE app for eight years!
Bosch is making a big deal about a new technology called “Help Connect” that it says will call emergency services if a motorcyclist has had a collision or a fall at speed. The German “digital guardian angel” is actually a smartphone app that takes advantage of the fact that that many modern motorcycles have something called an inertial measurement unit. Used by the traction control and the ABS systems to prevent wheel spin or lockup while the motorcycle is leaned over, an IMU can measure yaw, roll, and acceleration on all three axes. That makes them perfect for understanding that you’ve been in an accident.
Indeed, because of that IMU, Help Connect can tell the difference between falling over at a standstill and suffering the same mishap at speed. The app is constantly monitoring the IMU and, when it senses a contretemps, your phone calls Bosch’s emergency centre. Like GM’s OnStar, help is then dispatched based on the GPS coordinates of the phone.
The only problem with the big news being splashed around motorcycle feeds is that this emergency service is nothing new. EatSleepRIDE, a Canadian-produced app, has been offering a “Crashlight” option for some eight years now. And rather than rely on a complex gadget unique to higher-echelon motorcycles, ESR’s system is built into the app, using the phone’s built-in GPS signal and accelerometer/gyroscope. Now in its seventh-generation, the latest update uses the app’s crowd-sourcing function — subscribers send in their crash data — to better recognize when to activate. And when it does detect a crash, Crashlight will send notifications via email, SMS and to a landline to at least 3 contacts. EatSleepRIDE is also, by most accounts, the most popular motorcycle app in the world. Marina Mann, the company’s CEO, notes that it currently has subscribers in 138 countries.
Best of all, the whole system was designed by some master student engineers at the University of Toronto. Go Canucks!