Boost for bikers’ safety after new app launches

February 15, 2013

MORE than a million motorcyclists can feel safer in the saddle thanks to a new safety technology that is guaranteed to save lives.

A Newcastle-based team of five bike enthusiasts has secured £275,000 through various investors to launch RealRider, a GPS route tracker via smartphone that determines when and where a rider has suffered a crash.

The technology uses complex algorithms connected to a smartphone’s GPS, motion and tilt sensors to determine when a crash has occurred.

The system has now been thoroughly tested and adopted by colleagues in the North East Ambulance Service. The business is launched today (Friday February 15) by Newcastle- based management team Andrew Richardson and Zoe Farrington.

Company director Jason McClean says RealRider has more than 3,500 registered users before its official launch at the London Motorcycle Show.

“We’ve had a lot of support from the likes of Honda and Triumph,” he said. “We’ve already had enquiries from Australia and America. Our first target is to get the user base to 100,000 in the next 12 months and with the application selling at £4.99 that will give us a turnover of around £500,000.

“Motorcycle safety is certainly a hot topic at the moment because the number of accidents is so high in proportion to the number of riders on the road.

“An accident costs the authorities a silly figure, like £1m to investigate, so this is not only a social solution but a financial one as well.”

Miracle motorcyclist, Anthony Margrave, from Goole in East Yorkshire, survived three days in a ditch after crashing his bike on September 9 last year and is now backing RealRider.

Margrave, 40, hit the headlines when he didn’t make it home. Three days later, after a massive manhunt, he was found barely alive.

“I know I couldn’t have survived another night,” he said. “I was in and out of consciousness the whole time and was close to giving up.

“If I’d had Real Rider then the emergency services would have been alerted to my crash. They would have tried to contact me, and when I wasn’t able to pick up and stopped moving, they would have deployed an ambulance to my GPS co-ordinates. I would have had medical assistance well within the hour. That would have made a huge difference to me.”

Margrave suffered a spinal injury that has left him with only partial movement of his arms and legs.

He is convinced RealRider can help save the lives of bikers who suffer a crash, as well as help reduce injuries, by getting the emergency services to them much quicker.

John Rowland, control systems manager for the North East Ambulance Service, said: “I think Real Rider is an absolutely brilliant application. It is really useful tool that has the potential to save bikers’ lives. It means we can hopefully get medical attention to people much faster.”

Farrington said: “There are various websites for bloggers but they are, in the main, quite antiquated. We aspire to be the new online home for motorcyclists, bringing it all together in one place.

She has worked with Richardson for around a decade creating award- winning road safety, education, training and publicity work for clients in and around the motorcycle industry.”

The duo worked with Stephen Slater, director at RMT accountants and business advisers, to put together the business plan, and they have now completed a £285,000 “angel-led” seed investment round with the support of Rivers Capital Partners, which manages the £7.5m Finance For Business North East Angel Fund.

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