If you’ve ever played a racing simulator like MotoGP's or Dakar's video game, you’d know that there are a couple of layers that keep players on the right track to getting good. Everything from riding assists, racing lines, brake points, and more are available to switch on and off, and these overlays are quite helpful until you master the video game’s physics.
However, we’re not talking about a new type of overlay for a video game here. Aegis Rider wants to bring augmented reality on motorcycles to a whole new level, and we’re not just talking about a neat heads-up display or a smart helmet, but a computer system that can tell you exactly how to ride in order to keep safe.
Aegis Rider is based in Switzerland, born from a research project at ETH Zurich. In a video posted on the ETH News for Industry YouTube channel, Dr. Simon Hecker, an ETH Pioneer Fellow, presents the new technology that uses three parts to complete the system. The first involves the visualization system for the rider, which is definitely going into a helmet. The next is a compute safety system that’s attached to the bike that interprets all the data. The final piece of the puzzle is the sensor suite, which serves as the system’s eyes.
The sensor array for the Aegis Rider system is pretty impressive. The sensor system consists of a camera, GPS unit, and an IMU, otherwise known as an inertial measurement unit if we’re being very specific. The sensors then feed data into the computer which offers real-time optimal trajectory prediction, and neural network computation for scene understanding. The rider is then sent the computed information to the heads-up display which gives a visual of what to do via a set of augmented reality instructions. The visualization unit is also loaded with a visual-inertial odometry system for head pose estimation, as well as an eye-tracking feature that can ascertain where the rider is looking.
In practice, the system works to keep the rider safe, identifying obstacles, curves, and other road hazards, processing the data, then sending the best and safest riding line via the heads-up display. The system will even tell you how much lean angle you’ll need to clear the curve, as well as the most optimal lane positioning.
So far, the product is now in its testing phase, and commercialization will happen soon after all the tests are concluded. The prototype is by far the most advanced helmet we’ve seen with a heads-up display in comparison to the other smart helmets in the market like Forcite, that uses a more minimal system to warn and direct riders.