Harnessing the benefits of EU Space, the GSA-funded H-Gear project places the safety and security of motorcyclists at the top of the list
In recent years, more and more adults switch to two-wheelers. Congested cities, fuel efficiency, lower environmental impact or simply the sense of freedom while riding are some of the reasons why motorcycles are gaining ground as a favorite means of transport. The double-digit spike in motorbike sales in 2020, notwithstanding the crisis in automotive, clearly underlines this preference. Seeing this shift in transportation patterns and with motorcycles thefts soaring, the H-Gear team developed a twofold solution to provide safety and security to motorcycle drivers by relying on EU Space technology, in particular that of Galileo.
An anti-theft service inspired by Galileo connected to your smartphone!
The consortium led by Vitrociset, Spaceexe, Antenna Provider and with the precious contribution of Honda rolled out a device equipped with sensors and a Galileo-enabled receiver that can be integrated into small/medium motorcycles. Here’s how it works: in case the vehicle is moved, an alert message is sent to the owner of the vehicle via a dedicated mobile app. It is then up to the user to decide whether to call the authorities and intervene. The Galileo chipset in the device allows users and the authorities to track down the vehicle but also authenticate that the location is not spoofed thanks to the unique Galileo Authentication Service (OS-NMA). The app offers also features such as a parking locator for forgetful riders, and acts as a dashboard storing information on the vehicle status, travelled distance, driving time and speed, and monitoring the battery status, among others.
Read also this: eCall: 2 years of saving lives
Security hand in hand with safety
April 2018 marked the entry into force of the eCall, becoming mandatory in all newly produced car models across the Union. eCall is automatically activated as soon as in-vehicle sensors detect a serious crash. Once activated, the system dials the European emergency number 112 and establishes a telephone link to the appropriate emergency call centre. By speeding up emergency response times by 40% in urban areas and 50% in the countryside, it is estimated that eCall could help prevent 2,500 road deaths and save EUR 26 billion every year.
Tapping into the success of the European initiative eCall - an automatic system activated as soon as in-vehicle sensors detect a serious crash, and dialing the European emergency number 112 - the consortium integrated the eCall technology on a Honda motorbike. Once the H-Gear device detects a hard fall, the mobile app is activated, and a menu opens up with the options ‘’SOS Call’’ ‘’Cancel’’ and ‘’Service Center’’. Should this be a light fall and the biker is able to continue their journey, they can simply dismiss by tapping “I’m OK’’.
The mobile app will wait for the user to respond and will not automatically call the emergency services. If the user does not reply within 1 minute, the app will alert the Service Center and an operator will contact them. Failing to respond to the operator’s call, the emergency services will be alerted. The rider’s emergency contacts (provided while setting up the app profile) will also be notified about the incident location as an additional security layer.
“The characteristics that our clients are looking for are reliability and durability of the motorcycle, with particular attention to safety”, says Francesco Simone, Technical Quality Manager in Honda Italia. “In the future, the eCall and Anti-theft system will integrate perfectly in this evident customer´s need for enhanced protection’’ he concluded.
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