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Safer on the road with AI & AR

Using augmented reality and machine learning, a start-up from Switzerland is making motorcycling safer. A helmet visor helps motorcyclists stay on the ideal line and correctly assess potential dangers - "Aegis Rider" is the topic of the sixth episode of our podcast.


by Tobias Imbach

As of this spring, they will be mandatory for all new vehicles across Europe: safety features such as intelligent speed support and advanced emergency braking assistance systems. Motorbikes are exempt from this regulation - for a good reason? Here, more than anywhere else, the number of fatal accidents is on the rise, as a glance at Germany's accident statistics shows, for example.

Born out of a research project at ETH Zurich, the start-up "Aegis Rider" under founder Simon Hecker wants to counteract this development. The passionate motorcyclist has developed a system that uses augmented reality and artificial intelligence to make motorcycling safer - and still guarantees riding pleasure.

In the "cat!apult" podcast, Simon Hecker talks about the visor integrated into a helmet that gives motorcyclists important information about the course of the road, explains the technical process and gives his thoughts on freedom and riding pleasure and other possible applications of the Aegis Rider technology.

This is how Aegis Rider works:

Anyone looking through the "Aegis Rider" helmet visor would think they were in a computer racing game. A head-up display (HUD) projects information into the rider's field of vision, such as the current speed or the maximum speed allowed, while artificial intelligence also shows the racing line and speed for upcoming bends. A camera and a small computer are installed on the motorbike itself, which together provide the information for the visor. The helmet with integrated Aegis Rider visor does not differ in appearance from conventional motorbike helmets, and the AR technology in the helmet does not take up much space.

The system will be manually configurable and controllable via an app. You can manually configure what you see through the helmet.

SAID & NOTED

  • Many are familiar with the classic Heads Up Displays in cars, where speed or navigation information is displayed to the driver approx. 1-2m in front of the car. Our system goes much further. We can position 3D information anywhere in the real world.
  • Aegis Rider projects virtual objects into the real world. For example, we could show the driver under a red light the remaining seconds until green.
  • We take care to display only relevant information and not to distract or disturb the driver in any way.
  • The feeling of freedom when riding a motorbike will not change with an Aegis Rider system. In fact, motorcycling tends to become more relaxed and intuitive for novice riders.
  • The motorcyclist can always keep his eyes on the road, which significantly increases safety and his own comfort.
  • What a driver will see at the end can be individually personalised.
  • Machine learning is used extensively in our safety systems. For example, we can develop systems that recognise other road users or road markings. Based on this, dangerous situations can then be predicted.
  • It is a challenge to integrate the hardware in such a way that it meets the legal requirements and is approved for sale.
  • Ein Produkt wie Aegis Rider kann nur mit Partnerschaften und dem Austausch mit der Community etabliert werden.

Simon Hecker

Aegis Rider AG, Zürich

For his doctorate at ETH Zürich, Simon Hecker researched image processing algorithms for autonomous driving. On his way in to work by motorbike, he became aware of the significant discrepancy between the assistance systems for cars and motorbikes. The need for improvement in motorcycling led him to found the start-up Aegis Rider.

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